CNET: Google Search puts AR dinosaurs in your backyard. “As 3D objects become more searchable on phones, Googling up an animal to drop into your home is becoming a thing. The latest augmented reality object to pop up: dinosaurs.”
CNET: Google’s new AR update adds depth without needing lidar like Apple’s iPad. “This week’s AR news has been focused on Apple’s augmented reality updates to iOS 14, many of which lean on the depth-scanning hardware only on the recent iPad Pro. Google announced its own AR news this week, too, and you won’t need specialized hardware to use its depth-sensing tools.”
ZDNet: Social distancing: Google’s new tool lets you see a two metre gap with AR. “Sodar draws a two-metre radius around you by placing markers in AR onto your real-world environment. Through your phone screen, you can visualize exactly where your two-metre bubble starts and ends, so that you can immediately see if someone dares come in a little too close.” This is experimental, and getting to use it seems a little Byzantine.
EurekAlert: New device simulates feel of walls, solid objects in virtual reality. “Today’s virtual reality systems can create immersive visual experiences, but seldom do they enable users to feel anything — particularly walls, appliances and furniture. A new device developed at Carnegie Mellon University, however, uses multiple strings attached to the hand and fingers to simulate the feel of obstacles and heavy objects.”
PR Newswire: Virtual Meetings Help Overcome Social Distance; Spatial Makes Platform Accessible For All With Free Service (PRESS RELEASE). “Spatial, the leading VR/AR collaboration platform that allows people to work over distance as if in the same room, today announced that in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s opening up unlimited access to its premium services to everyone free of charge, for the coming months. In addition to access via major headsets, Spatial can now be used by the masses via a web version on your desktop or iPhone/Android, allowing anyone to enter a Spatial AR/VR meeting by simply clicking on a meeting link – no downloads required. The company is also announcing a much-improved experience and general availability of Spatial on the leading all-in-one VR headset today, Oculus Quest, previously only available in private beta.”
Google Blog: Now that we’re at home, bring the great artists to you. “Google Arts & Culture puts the stories and knowledge of over 2,000 cultural institutions from 80 countries in your home. It immerses you in a world of culture through augmented reality, virtual reality, Street View and AI. New tools recently added to the Google Arts & Culture app allow you to bring the world’s culture into your home, whether you’d like to hang a virtual Van Gogh in your kitchen or experience a classical concert in Beijing’s Forbidden City on your couch.”
CNET: Google hides real Easter eggs for Easter, delivers AR Easter bunny. “Users who search for ‘Easter,’ ‘Easter 2020’ and other Easter-related topics will see a banner in the top-right corner of their search results page that illustrates some of the adorable animals associated with the holiday, including a pink bunny and a chick hatching from a decorated egg.” There’s also an AR bunny.
South China Morning Post: Hangzhou park security uses AI-powered smart glasses to detect people with fever. “Roving security staff at Hongyuan Park, part of the Xixi Wetland preserve in Hangzhou in eastern China, now have the power to quickly detect the body temperature of all park visitors from a distance of up to 1 metre, thanks to ‘non-contact thermal augmented reality’ smart glasses supplied by AI start-up Rokid Corp.”
British Library: British Library makes rarely seen historical globes available for up-close, augmented reality viewing. “This month marks the launch of an ambitious British Library project to make 30 historical globes available to all via interactive, digital experiences. Working alongside the digitisation company Cyreal over the course of two years, imaging specialists at the Library have developed bespoke equipment to photograph and digitise the globes, which form one of the most beautiful but fragile subsets in the British Library’s vast maps collection.” The first seven globes have been released for viewing, with the rest being released throughout the year.
The Verge: Facebook is shutting down MSQRD, the AR selfie app it acquired in 2016. “On April 13th, Facebook will remove the MSQRD app from both the Android and iOS app stores. Facebook purchased MSQRD in 2016, and the AR app played a key role in boosting Facebook’s internal portfolio of AR image and video tools.”
Neowin: Instagram is clamping down on coronavirus AR effects. “Instagram announced today new measures meant to help curb the spread of misinformation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). One of these steps is cracking down on AR effects related to the virus.”
Google Blog: Go beyond the page with Google Lens and NYT Magazine. “Throughout the first half of this year, we’re working with The New York Times so that readers of the print edition of The New York Times Magazine can use Google Lens to unlock more information by simply pointing their smartphone camera at the pages. On Sunday, when The Times Magazine’s annual Music Issue hits newsstands, readers can use Lens to access videos, animations and in-depth digital content that help you go beyond what’s included in print. Readers will also be able to access a playlist of all the music on the magazine’s list of ’25 Songs That Matter Now’ using Lens.”
Hypergrid Business: Best Places To Learn AR and VR Development Online in 2020. “There are quite a handful of platforms that allow you to develop virtual reality and augmented reality apps and content, but it is not easy to find an offline virtual reality school or academy with which to train for those interested in developing AR and VR apps. Udemy may be the popular place to learn VR and AR, but there are other free or cheaper subscription options.” I liked this one a lot. Extensive, lots of annotation.
Bustle: How To Make Spark AR Effects On Instagram, Even With No Experience. “If you’ve ever used a filter in your Instagram Story to predict what your 2020 will look like or what Starbucks drink you are, then you’re familiar with the app’s popular AR effects. What you might not have realized, however, is that you have the ability to create your very own quirky effects to share with the world. Bustle chatted with two creators about how to make Spark AR effects on Instagram and no, you don’t need years of experience.”
EurekAlert: UTSA finds the best method to teach children augmented reality. “Researchers at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) identified the best approach to help children operate Augmented Reality (AR). According to UTSA computer science experts, a major barrier into wider adoption of the technology for experiential learning is based on AR designs geared toward adults that rely on voice or gesture commands. By conducting in-classroom testing among elementary school students, UTSA researchers uncovered that AR programs are best delivered using controller commands, followed by programs that communicate with age-specific language.”