Over the course of lockdown, one special Google feature skyrocketed in popularity - the ability to see life sized versions of a variety of different animals using the tech company’s special lens.
This is thanks to the augmented reality (AR) feature from Google, which was actually launched last year. Since then, Google has continuously added more and more items and creatures that are available to view through your own smart device.
How to use it
If you Google ‘giant panda’, for example, just underneath the image search results and the Wikipedia description of the animal, you’ll see a box that says “Meet a life-sized giant panda up close.”
Next to that box will be a CGI panda moving around, and underneath will be the option to “view in 3D”. Click “view in 3D” and then click “view in your space.”
You’ll need to give Google access to your camera for it to be able to insert the panda into your surroundings.
Which animals does it work for?
Google is always adding new and different animals to this 3D feature.
These are some of the animals that can be found so far using the augmented reality lens:
- Angler fish
- Ball python
- Brown bear
- Black cat
- Emperor penguin
- Shetland pony
There are even a number of different dog breeds you can search for:
- German Shepherd
- Labrador retriever
- French Bulldog
- Shih Tzu
You can additionally find different insects, like:
- Rhinoceros Beetle
- Hercules Beetle
- Atlas Beetle
- Stag Beetle
- Miyama Stag Beetle
- Shining Ball Scarab Beetle
- Jewel Beetle
- Robust Cicada
- Brown Cicada
- Periodical Cicada
- Walker’s Cicada
- Evening Cicada
- Giant Stag
- Roasilia Batesi
- Swallowtail Butterfly
- Morpho Butterfly
- Atlas Moth
There are many dinosaurs you can search for as well:
- Tyrannosaurus Rex
You can also find loads of other 3D items, including planets, anatomy, cells, cars and even Neil Armstrong’s astronaut space suit.
How do I know if my phone is AR enabled?
The developer page on Google explains that for a device to be supported, it needs to have passed their certification process.
“To certify each device, we check the quality of the camera, motion sensors, and the design architecture to ensure it performs as expected,” Google states.
For Android users, Google requires:
- An operating system of Android 7.0 or later - although some models require even newer versions
- The device needs to have been originally shipped with the Google Play Store installedInternet access
For iPhone users aren’t left out of the party either. Compatible devices need to be running iOS 11.0 or later.
You can check if your device is compatible on the Google Developer page.
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister site The Scotsman