Google Pixel Augmented Reality: An Experiment with Blaze

‘Twas the week before Christmas…….and I was working with Blaze on his down-stays while also GEEK-ing out with the newly released Google Augmented Reality (see below the video for a definition) Stickers for my Pixel XL.

As Blaze and I were training, I decided I needed help from the “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” crew, and a hamburger, to keep Blaze safe in the wilds of our front yard.

Not a bad video for an engineer…..well…..maybe not, but, you get the point.  🙂

What is Augmented Reality?

Pokemon anyone?  THAT was a flash in the pan fad a couple of summers ago, but, was at the forefront of augmented reality technology for your smartphone by placing Pokemon in your view while you were walking around (safely!) looking at your smartphone’s camera.

Here is a more formal definition of augmented reality from Wikipedia:

Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by computer-generated or extracted real-world sensory input such as soundvideographicshaptics or GPS data.[1]

Watch the video above to see how the computer-generated graphics are interacting with Blaze and myself as I walk around the scene.  The augmented characters move, make sounds, and stay more or less in the correct perspective as I circle around (notice that they appear behind snowman at times).  I also inserted text, and love the way I can walk through the text.

All in all….this is VERY COOL stuff.  🙂

My Quick Test of Pixel Augmented Reality

Now that you have seen the result, here are a few preliminaries in case you are still interested.

Yesterday, Google updated my Pixel XL camera app (and, I think, all Pixels with Oreo) with Augmented Reality (AR) stickers in the camera app, just in time for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” to hit theaters on the 15th.

Here are a few screen shots of the camera app and AR Stickers:

New Menu Item in the Pixel XL Camera App
Some of the Star Wars characters
Blaze’s favorite…Food!
Some additional figures

Not one to let new technology slip by without testing it, I immediately started playing with this new feature.

Blaze was sleeping soundly (after a busy morning putting up the Christmas tree) and, I am sure, he was dreaming about food.  Hey, he IS a Labrador retriever so food is uppermost in his waking mind, and in his dreams.

I was also relaxing before working a bit more in our Christmas decorations when I decided that I needed a bit of help for round 2:

After that, Blaze and I went outside to film a few video’s (really stinky videos, but, good practice) and take a few more pictures.  This one is cool:

Notice the shadow and the detail! Wow…..


Augmented Reality is here and now and is definitely a cool technology that will only get better with time.  In fact, I read an article recently that stated that the AR characters will soon be able to stay where they are, meaning they will stay behind the snowman in my video.  Sweet……

GEEK On!  May the force be with you.


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