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Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Reigns Supreme During Google I/O

Photo Credit: Google Developers‏
by TR Pakistan

Day 2 and Day 3 of Google’s annual developer conference delved deeper into its virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) initiatives.

Google showcased Seurat Technology which allows users to take high-end, film-quality 3D scenes and turn them into a format that can run on mobile hardware. The technology works by taking renders of a scene from multiple different angles and positions, and then mapping them onto a VR scene you can move around in using your headset. Google, in collaboration with IMXLAB at Lucasfilm, gave a demonstration of Seurat Technology by taking a high-fidelity digital set from Rogue One and compressed it into something that could run in real-time on its WorldSense headset.

Read more: Day 1 of Google’s Annual Developer Conference Brings Spate of New Applications


Another exciting announcement was Google introducing VR on its YouTube mobile application. Users will be now be able to view and share VR videos with the community. The company also has an “Instant Previews” feature for VR developers that can help improve development of VR experiences more quickly and efficiently. When developers make changes on their computers, they would be able to see them immediately on mobile devices. The feature is available on Google’s editor and mobile devices.

Google is not only launching two standalone headsets in the future, but will also include a 2D pop-up panel in the virtual environment for notifications. This will create a more immersive experience for users who won’t have to pause the application to check their notifications or change their settings. It is also including more image and video sharing options that will enable you to take a screenshot of your VR experience from your headset and then share it on social media. Users will also be able to show their virtual environment on a chromecast-supported television.

The company announced that Google Assistant can now be used to make payments and send money to others. You simply tell the Assistant to “Send $100 to Jane Smith” and it will confirm the request and then send the money. The payment feature will be available in upcoming months but only in the United States.

Google’s Expeditions application will now include an AR mode by making use of its Tango technology. Google Expeditions is a VR teaching tool for classroom and small group use that lets you experience field trips by using Google Cardboard headsets. Using it you can get up close with historical landmarks like Buckingham Palace or even visit outer space.

The new AR mode uses Tango technology to map the area of each classroom and place the 3D objects at specific locations. Students will now be able to use Tango-compatible smartphones to view fully interactive 3D models of objects like volcanoes and the Statue of Liberty. Users will also be able to use positional tracking to view the objects more closely or walk around them. This new mode might help teachers in explaining ideas and concepts that are hard to visualize.


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