I’m delighted to share that my team’s work to add 3D & AR automotive results to Google Search—streaming in cinematic quality via cloud rendering—has now been announced! Check out the demo starting around 36:30:
You can easily check out what the car looks like in different colors, zoom in to see intricate details like buttons on the dashboard, view it against beautiful backdrops and even see it in your driveway. We’re experimenting with this feature in the U.S. and working with top auto brands, such as Volvo and Porsche, to bring these experiences to you soon.
Cloud streaming enables us to take file size out of the equation, so we can serve up super detailed visuals from models that are hundreds of megabytes in size:
Right now the feature is in testing in the US, so there’s a chance you can experience it via Android right now (with iOS planned soon). We hope to make it available widely soon, and I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Some of the creatures include the Aegirocassis, a sea creature that existed 480 million years ago; a creepy-looking ancient crustacean; and a digital remodel of the whale skeleton, which is currently in view in the National History Museum’s Hintze Hall.
Exceedingly tangentially: who doesn’t love a good coelacanth reference?
My mom loves to remind me about how she sweltered, hugely pregnant with me, through a muggy Illinois summer while listening to cicadas drone on & on. Now I want to bring a taste of the 70’s back to her via Google’s latest AR content.
You can now search for all these little (and not-so-little) guys via your Android or iPhone and see them in your room:
Artist/technologist Erik Natzke has kept me inspired for the better part of 20 years. His work played a key role in sending me down a multi-year rabbit hole trying to get Flash (and later HTML) to be a live layer type within Photoshop and other Adobe apps. The creative possibilities were tremendous, and though I’ll always be sad we couldn’t make it happen, I’m glad we tried & grateful for the inspiration.
Anyway, since going independent following a multi-year stint at Adobe, Erik has been sharing delightful AR explorations—recently featuring virtual Legos interacting with realtime depth maps of a scene. He’s been sharing so much so quickly lately that I can’t keep up and would encourage you to follow his Twitter & Instagram feeds, but meanwhile here are some fun tastes:
Here’s an example of how they look (apologies for the visual degradation from the GIFfing; I’ll see whether I can embed the interactive original):
People seem to dig ’em:
Nissan saw an engagement rate that was 8X higher than rich media benchmarks for the automotive vertical.
For Adidas, Swirl ads drove a 4x higher engagement rate than rich media benchmarks and had an average viewable time of 11 seconds,The 3D creatives also drove a return on ad spend (ROAS) of ~2.8 for the Colombia market.
For Belvedere The Swirl ads drove 6.5x higher brand favorability and 4.9x higher purchase intent vs. category norms.
To get started creating a Swirl ad, you can upload 3D assets to Google Web Designer and use the new Swirl templates. Brands and agencies can also edit, configure, and publish models using Google’s 3D platform, Poly.
The Land Rover app for iOS & Android, leveraging Unity + ARKit & ARCore, goes beyond ye old “spin car in space & maybe change wheels” approach we’ve long seen. Somehow I can’t embed the video, but it’s worth a look, and you can get a taste of the immersive environments it enables here:
I’m more than a little snowed under right now with preparations for next week’s announcement, but I wanted to share a few interesting finds:
Photographers are always asking for better ways to prevent misuse of their works, and TinEye promises to help by using image-recognition techniques to find images in the wild. Ars Technica’s got details.
I’m delighted to see that Cooliris, the very cool browser technology formerly known as PicLens (see previous raving), is available once again for Safari. I’d forgotten how much I missed it until it returned recently. The developers are also offering an embeddable Flash-powered version for use on your own sites.