Augmented reality (AR) tours have arrived on Google’s Expeditions app.
The app originally started off as a way for users to go on virtual reality tours. Users could embark on virtual expeditions to various locales, like the International Space Station or the Great Wall of China. There’s even a Parks Canada VR tour featuring seven ‘hidden gems’ of Canadian National Parks.
Today’s update to the Expeditions app now adds AR to the mix. Users can host or join tours in the app, or strike out on their own to explore some of the many offerings.
The update also brings over 100 AR tours for users to explore. Google Arts and Culture partners like the Smithsonian or Smarthistory helped create the tours.
Anyone with a compatible Android (ARCore) or iOS (ARKit) device will be able to make use of the updates.
Google also released new AR/VR Expedition kits for schools to purchase from Best Buy Education.
The kits come with 15 AR devices and 15 VR devices meant to be used by students. Additionally, the kits come with a teacher device and a 360 degree camera, along with additional hardware elements like selfie sticks. The new AR/VR kit isn’t available in Canada yet, but a 10-device VR kit can be purchased for $4,899.99.
The addition of AR to the Expeditions app follows on the heels of Google announcing the Expeditions AR Pioneer Program at Google I/O last year. Since then, Google says one million students have made use of AR in classrooms.
The Expeditions app was designed with education as a primary goal. The features found within the app are useful for learning more about subjects like geography, history and science.
It’s good to see such a dedicated push into AR for education from Google. It’s very powerful technology and can be used in many incredible ways.
Source: Google Blog