Google presented AR objects in Search with much fanfare during its developer conference last year, and it probably would've loved to talk about additions and improvements during this year's I/O. With the event canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company has instead shared some news on the feature via a blog post. In it, Google shows off new 3D objects, such as additional anatomic models and magnified views of cells. There are also new capabilities for the viewer.
While you could view skeletons, muscles, and many other body parts in Google's 3D viewer courtesy of Visible Body, there's now another cooperation with BioDigital. The company adds labels to its models, making it easier to identify specific skeletal or circulatory features in a life-sized model. The collaboration with Visible Body is still alive and well, too. When you search for "animal cell" or "mitochondria," you'll get an oversized view of the cell and labels describing all parts there are to it. You can also try "bacteria cell" or "plant cell."
To make 3D objects easier to discover, Google has also added a carousel of related models. You can see it at the bottom of the 3D viewer interface. When you choose a different object, it'll automatically take the spot of the previous one, and you don't have to set your camera up and scan your room all over again.
Developers interested in creating 3D models of their own can now apply to work together with Google to add them to Search. The company is particularly interested in product models for stores or manufacturers, popular characters or objects from movies and other media entertainment, and educational content that is "more effectively understood in 3D." There's currently no open interface because Google wants to "ensure the best experience for users."
To be able to see the 3D objects, your phone must be among the list of supported devices — most handsets from the last couple of years should work, though. Make sure to check out our animals and other 3D objects roundups if you want to give the feature a more extensive try, and keep in mind that it's now also possible to video record objects.