Ever since I was young, I’ve always been a cat fan (although dogs are lovely, too). Nonetheless, my current landlord doesn’t allow me to have a cat, so I just settle for following cute ones on Instagram. Considering that I live alone, there have been many times during the pandemic where I’ve thought, “Wouldn’t this be more entertaining if there was a cat around?”
Well, I might still not be able to get a real cat, but Google Search has presented an interesting and cool alternative: augmented reality animals in 3D. While Google’s AR animals are nothing new—it has given us everything from Easter bunnies to dinosaurs in the past—it recently announced that it was adding 50 new animals to discover on its search engine. And yes, a cat made the cut (yay).
In its announcement video, Google didn’t include an extensive list of the new animals, although it did give away a few new ones, such as the giraffe, milk cow, cat, zebra, pig, and chow chow. The folks over at 9to5Google have created an extensive list of their discoveries, and have so far discovered 25 of the animals! Their findings include the beagle, border collie, hamster, hippo, ox, red panda, and welsh corgi, although there are many more.
For the uninitiated, Google’s AR animals are rad because the search engine lets you put them in your space. It also lets you show off your new friends by snapping photos or making videos of them on your phone. Finding the animals is “relatively” simple (I apparently have horrible luck). All you need to do is search for the animal in Google and then scroll down the page until you see a block with the option to “View in 3D.” This will turn your phone in an AR “projector,” so to speak, and give you a true model of the animal along with sound effects. It’ll allow you to move the animal around the house.
To my chagrin, the cat doesn’t seem to be appearing for me yet. However, I did get a chance to see a macaw parrot and a dinosaur in my living room. The penguin was my favorite, even if it did not stop making penguin noises. If you don’t know what to search for in AR yet, Google has a handy page set up with some ideas.
If anything, it’s an opportunity to learn more about the animal you’re searching for and do something different at home while you’re staying safe. I love penguins, but I don’t think I’ll ever get that close to one. Now, let’s see if I ever find Google’s cat.