Google has officially rolled out its Expeditions AR tours to anyone with an Android or iOS device via the Google Expeditions app. In addition, the company also added more content for users to explore along with new features.
Launched back in 2016 for Android, the Google Expeditions virtual reality app allows teachers to take students on VR field trips using Google Cardboard virtual reality viewer. Using Cardboard with the app, teachers essentially become “guides” and are able to control the VR experience for students in the classroom — as long as they’re all on the same Wi-Fi network.
When it was initially released, teachers and students had more than 200 different Expeditions to choose from. You could explore historical landmarks, go deep underwater with sharks, or embark on a trip to outer space. Each one is also curated with talking points, questions, and descriptions.
At last year’s Google I/O, the company announced its AR Pioneer Program — which allows students to use augmented reality in the classroom instead. Rather than using a headset, students can use a smartphone to place 3D objects in their classrooms whether they’re learning about biology or history.
But instead of limiting it to the classrooms, Google has now made it available to download for everyone. For iPhones running iOS 11, the app utilizes ARKit — Apple’s augmented reality platform which launched last year. Android devices, on the other hand, use ARCore 1.0, which is Google’s very own framework introduced earlier this year.
Along with the release, Google also updated the Expeditions AR app. This includes new tours, along with the ability to find saved tours, and even start solo adventures. That way, you can easily go on a tour of your own whether you’re at home in your living room or at school in the classroom. Users now have more than 100 AR and 800 VR tours created by the company’s Google Arts & Culture partners such as Oxford University Press, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and more.
You can download the Google Expeditions app in the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store — for those who already have the app, all you’ll need to do is update it. In addition to launching the update, Google is also now offering schools interested in purchasing the first Expeditions AR/VR kids from Best Buy.
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