Last month Google held its 12th annual conference. Google I/O is a developer’s conference to show off their major new releases and innovations. Just like last year we watched the conference at I/O extended by Move4Mobile. A local event where enthusiasts come together to watch the livestream. Google I/O is not just about AR but in this blog, we focus on the things we most care about.
Google Search improvement
Google search is still the biggest and most used search engine in the world. Over 90 percent of web searches are done via Google. At any given day over 63.000 searches are done each second. However, search is about to become more visual thanks to power of AR. The phone is an essential part of our daily lives and happens to be a great AR device.
AR in search
On-stage Google demonstrated how students could search for specific muscle groups. Instead of a picture you see a full 3D model. This makes search way more visual than before. However, the fun part comes when 3D turns into AR with the click of a button. Any 3D model can be viewed in AR for even more immersion. It’s not limited to smaller object either as they also showed a giant shark on-stage.
We believe this update will revolutionize AR as it’s happing right in the browser. AR for web is slowly becoming available. Most people use the browser every day. Thanks to Google search we can all take advantage of this great technology.
Last year Google unveiled a new feature in Maps. We all had the problem of using Maps in a large city and walking in the wrong direction several times. You search for the hotel and fully relay on the blue dot pointing in the right direction. After 5 minutes of walking you eventually realize you have been walking in the wrong direction. This happens because you are probably not walking fast enough for the marker to find you properly.
AR in Google Maps
To solve this problem Google introduced AR in Maps. Instead of following a dot on the screen the app project large arrows on the road. By looking through the camera you know exactly where you have to go. Thank to Googles powerful AR implementation these directions or more reliable and easier to use. These simple, yet useful implementation of AR show of what it’s capable of.
Improvements rather than new releases
We didn’t see many new AR releases this year. Most of what we saw were things from last year but much improved visually and functionally. In our opinion this is a good thing because it shows that Google is still hard at work making these applications even better. We did see little things like smile to take a picture in the Pixel camera and scanning signs for translation.
Virtual reality wasn’t mentioned at I/O this year. This doesn’t mean that Google has declared VR dead. Google is one of the biggest players in the growing VR market. They just don’t have the hardware right now. Cardboard is still used a lot however Daydream hasn’t really caught on.
In a recent interview Clay Bavor, vice-president of VR and AR at Google, talked about how they are currently focused on R&D and don’t want to rush new products. That means we have to wait a little longer on new hardware. In the meantime, we can’t wait to try Googles AR apps.