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All Things Augmented Reality

Google's AR Search is a Huge Leap Forward for the Industry

Jon Cheney | May 8, 2019

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Yesterday, Google announced at their annual I/O conference that AR search results will be coming later this year. We hope it's sooner rather than later because this change will thrust AR into the spotlight like never before. It's an important step in bringing this pivotal web-based AR technology mainstream.

Here at Seek, we have been focused on making AR more accessible for years. Just last year, we launched SeekView, which allows brands to install AR directly on their website, removing the app from the equation. This new app-less reality has allowed companies to begin offering a better shopping experience to a much larger segment of people.

AR has been available through apps for years. From entertainment hits like PokemonGO to social media giants like Snapchat, the younger generation is growing up with augmented reality as a norm. But it was only recently that Seek unlocked web-based AR for brands.

Getting to this point has been a team effort, fueled by the likes of Apple, Google, and others. Last year, Apple released a new file format along with Pixar called USDZ. Apple's unique USDZ file enabled iOS 12 users to view 3D objects in their space directly from the web, using a pre-installed system viewer. Google has now announced that they are joining the ranks in helping AR go more mainstream with this significant development.

Let's take a look at Google's hot new tech. In the gif below, you can see that a user searches on Google for the term "muscle flexion." The standard search results appear, but there is an additional button that appears that says "View in 3D." Upon first clicking the google-ar-search-augmented-realitybutton, an animated 3D model appears on a grey background. There is then another option to click that says "View in Your Space." This then opens the camera view and allows you to click on a nearby surface upon which you can place the object. The object then anchors to the real world and holds its position as if it was actually there. 

Imagine how this can be used for education, eCommerce, sales, product demos, design, construction and so much more. 

Beyond Google's solution, Seek can enable this technology directly on a brand's website. Google Search is a critical component for the ecosystem, and we are happy to announce that all of Seek's existing (and future) customers will automatically be upgraded to support Google's new AR search. But enabling AR in search AND directly on the website are equally important.

The AR industry is growing and changing fast. Seek's customers can rest easy knowing that they don't have to worry about new platforms, features, devices, or anything else related to augmented reality. Any 3D file hosted by Seek is future-proofed. It's our job to monitor the industry and enable our clients' content to support the latest and greatest.

Google's new AR search feature is a giant leap forward for the XR industry, and we can't wait to see what comes next.

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