Google’s augmented reality (AR) search features continue to get better. The company’s latest addition brings dinosaurs from “Jurassic World” into the real world. Users who search for one of 10 species can choose the option to “View in 3D” and the creature will be superimposed at a realistic scale atop their surroundings.
Although it might sound like a fun trick, it’s actually fairly educational. The dinosaur models are some of the most realistic renderings created. They also promise to entertain plenty of users—whether they’re nine or 90.
Roaming the Earth Again
Reading about the massive dinosaurs that once ruled the Earth’s surface is one thing. Watching them devour greedy scientists and theme park goers on the big screen is another. Seeing a dinosaur come to life in your backyard is another level of immersion with Earth’s biological past.
It shouldn’t be surprising that Google is adding dinosaurs to its AR search lineup. After all, users can already invite a number of modern animals into their homes. The decision to add 10 species of dinosaurs to the list is a natural progression for the AR search feature.
The gigantic creatures are based on renderings developed for the “Jurassic World Alive” AR mobile game. Ludia, the studio behind the game, says that its artists worked with paleontologists and the team behind the “Jurassic World” movie franchise to create realistic models. That means the models are incredibly lifelike. Users can zoom in to see various textures and characteristics that are unique to each species.
The list of virtual dinosaurs includes Tyrannosaurus Rex, Velociraptor, Triceratops, Spinosaurus, Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Dilophosaurus, Pteranodon, and Parasaurolophus.
While Google’s AR features are pretty impressive, they aren’t perfect. The search tool says that it can accurately scale a virtual animal to the size of a user’s environment. That isn’t always the case. Since Google rolled out the animal AR search features, there have been some hilarious and sometimes frightening instances of giant rabbits and tiny tigers running around peoples’ homes.
Obviously, a 20-foot-tall T-Rex isn’t going to fit in the living room. So, Google tries to scale the model down to fit inside its environment. I tried out the feature myself and found that it seemed to work pretty well.
Sadly, not everyone will be able to access the AR dinosaurs. Users will need a device capable of supporting the feature if they want to see giant dinos stomping around their environment. For Android users, this means owning an ARCore-supported device. That includes just about any phone released in the past few years. Apple users need a device that runs iOS 11 or later.
For users who have one of these devices, seeing dinosaurs come to life is easy. Just search for one of the species in the Google app or through the Chrome mobile browser. Tap “View in 3D” under the results and then “View In Your Space” to see the dinosaurs appear in your environment.