Announced via Google’s blog, the update allows users to add animated characters and emojis directly into the scene in front of them, via the Pixel’s camera:
You don’t have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to team up with characters from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, like BB-8, a stormtrooper, or a porg. You can play around with Eleven, the Demogorgon, and your other favorite characters from Netflix’s Stranger Things; use Foodmoji and 3D Text stickers when you’re feeling hungry; or shoot a celebratory video at your New Year’s party with AR balloons and champagne.
Inserting a character is as simple as tapping to enter the AR Mode in your camera app, choosing a sticker pack, and dragging-and-dropping them into the scene. Once there, you can resize, rotate, and move them as you see fit. Characters inserted into the scene will stay where you’ve placed them, even if you move the camera away, and they will interact with other characters placed into the same area. Once you’ve captured your scene, you can easily share the picture or video with your friends on social media. Sticker packs currently include stylized characters from Stranger Things, Star Wars, and various different emoji and food-based stickers.
This update comes as a part of Google’s drive to add more virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) content to Android. Google’s Daydream VR aims to bring VR to even more Android devices, and Pixel smartphone cameras also gained some added brains with the addition of Google Lens; a smart lens that can identify landmarks and provide history, or save information from business cards.
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