Google’s annual developer conference got under way in earnest Tuesday in Mountain View, with Google I/O 2019 promising a slew of important news covering all aspects of the search giant’s business — everything from details about its newest handsets that leaked in the runup to the conference to the next version Android. Artificial intelligence and software have tended to come in for outsized emphasis at past conferences, but the company kicked things off with updates to its signature product, Search.
The company just announced a new integration of your camera and AR features with Search, such as the ability to put 3D models right into your search results. The company showed off its usage for studying and academic purposes, but it will no doubt be especially useful for shopping and visualizing try-ons of clothes and other products you’d like to buy.
As part of this presentation, Google also showed off a new camera capability coming to the Google Go search app for its cheaper devices. It’s basically a bringing of Google’s Lens feature to low-end handsets and can do everything from translating signs into different languages.
Putting 3D models directly into Search results, meanwhile, is a continuation of Search’s evolution from a box built around text input to a window into all of the myriad Google technologies and competencies that bubble under the service of most of the company’s products. It will be interesting to see if the deeper integration of AR into search results from the world’s dominant search engine makes AR much more ubiquitous than it is now. Probably not, given all of the caveats associated with this — you can point your phone at this, and it will work, but not that — but we’ll see.
“it’s one thing to read that a great white shark can be 18 feet long. It’s another to see it up close in relation to the things around you,” explains Google VP Aparna Chennapragada here. “So when you search for select animals, you’ll get an option right in the Knowledge Panel to view them in 3D and AR.”
She continues: “We’re also working with partners like NASA, New Balance, Samsung, Target, Visible Body, Volvo, Wayfair and more to surface their own content in Search. So whether you’re studying human anatomy in school or shopping for a pair of sneakers, you’ll be able to interact with 3D models and put them into the real world, right from Search.”
Definitely fitting that the company kicked off today’s opening presentation with updates to the product the average person probably most closely associates with Google.