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Google Launches Four New Augmented Reality Experiments for Android

The web-based alternative reality collection features a range of utilities and immersive experiences.

Floom Measure Up Sodar and Picturescape on Google Pixel phone screens

Android users can experience a handful of augmented reality tools thanks to the Experiments with Google platform, including looking directly through Earth and keeping socially distanced from each other.

Google Reveals New WebXR Experiments

Google recognizes the importance of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). While both of these alternative realities may be the future of everything, the tech giant has had a bit of (albeit useful) fun with some browser-based AR, as revealed in a post on The Keyword.

Google’s WebXR Experiments come in four forms, Floom, Measure Up, Sodar, and Picturescape. From the names alone, you’re probably only going to hazard a guess at what Floom and Sodar are; the other two are fairly self-explanatory.

What Can Google’s New WebXR Experiments Do?

OK, so strange names aside, what are you getting from Google’s experiments? Well, the four tools are pretty cool.

Floom (a portmanteau of floor and zoom) allows you to burrow through the Earth and see what the floor looks like at the exact opposite point to where you are standing. Well, it isn’t quite that drab; the tool uses Google Maps so you can actually zoom in and out of your antipodean location.

Measure Up is a measuring device, which allows you to calculate the length, area, and volume of anything around you. You just select an object within an enclosed field and Measure Up does the rest.

Related: Technology Trends Already Changing the Future

Sodar allows you to see where 6 feet (or 2 meters) would be via your Android device’s camera and the web browser, by overlaying a radar-style boundary onto the live feed of the surrounding environment.

Picturescape works in a similar fashion, displaying an art gallery of your own photos against the same live feed. This tool was unavailable to try at the time of writing, so we’re not sure if it can display photos in the location you took them.

Like we say, they’re quite nifty little tools. Obviously Floom is just a bit of fun, as is Picturescape. However, Measure Up and Sodar have real-world applications. This type of easy-to-access utility could pay dividends across multiple industries.

Is the Future Reality an Alternative Reality?

black and white virtual reality

As Lawnmower Man as it sounds, given the rate at which AR and VR development has increased of late, we could upload ourselves to mainframes sooner than we think.

In all seriousness, though, companies like Google and Facebook are plowing vast amounts of money into investing in AR and VR. Developments in AR and VR tech are coming on in leaps and bounds because of this massive investment.

It isn’t just entertainment and gaming that benefit from these technologies. VR and AR can assist with literally anything, providing there is someone with the ability (and finances) to develop real-world solutions within the realms of alternative reality.

Virtual reality at convention
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