Google has added 50 new augmented reality animals to Search which can be either cute, or in the case of the giant cat in the photo above, a bit disconcerting. Of course it’s possible that I find the giant kitty menacing because I hate fun (or so I have been told), but I do not think I want that creature to greet me, anywhere, ever, in AR or any other reality.
I do, however, want this red panda to play with a pumpkin in my dining room as long as she wants to.
In addition to the red panda and cat, there’s a giraffe, cow, zebra, pig, and hippo among the new creatures you can welcome virtually into your home (or other space, but we’re all homebound right now). Just search for an animal on Google’s mobile app and tap “view in 3D” among the results. Android Police has a pretty good list of all the AR animals they’ve discovered so far.
When Google started putting 3D animals in Search last year it only had a few standard animals available like a tiger, a lion, a wolf, and a dog. It added more creatures in March, including alligators, ducks, and hedgehogs. In August, Google made prehistoric creatures and historical artifacts available in AR via its Arts and Culture app— and who among us wouldn’t love to check out the ancient crustacean Cambropachycope up close and personal?
I have to admit after playing with the AR animals in Search for a bit (in the name of research, obviously), it’s a pretty fun feature, and is likely to be very fun for kids stuck inside during — everything. Now, off to watch my new pet red panda wrestle with her pumpkin.