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Google’s latest Playmoji bring animated Pokémon to your camera

Pokémon seems to have gotten a bit of a resurgence over the past few years. While true fans have long kept up with the latest Pokémon games and movies, it really hit the mainstream again with Pokémon Go, and now it’s set to do the same with the release of Pokémon: Detective Pikachu.

In celebration of the new movie, Google is releasing a Pokémon: Detective Pikachu Playmoji pack — which includes Detective Pikachu, Charizard, Jigglypuff, and Mr. Mime — many of the most important and cutest characters from the movie.

“Now you can partner up with Detective Pikachu, Charizard, Jigglypuff, and Mr. Mime to create action-packed scenes in the real world. All you have to do is point your camera and drop one of the Playmoji (or all four) into a scene to bring them to life in your photos and videos,” Google said in a blog post.

The Playmoji are animated and look mostly like they will in the film — adding to a sense of realism to them. Thanks to the motion tracking in Google’s ARCore, the characters can move around your environment.

If you’re unfamiliar with Playmoji, they’re primarily augmented reality characters and objects that you can experience through the Google Pixel camera or Google Lens app. With Playmoji, you can interact with the characters themselves, or take photos and videos with them. Popular Playmoji that we have seen so far include the likes of Childish Gambino, and Google even partnered up with Marvel Studios for Playmoji of Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, and the other Avengers. For Valentine’s Day, Google released a pack of “Playground: Love” Playmoji, which included love notes, hearts, and more.

In general, the Google Pixel camera has been hailed as one of the best around, thanks largely to the incredibly smart artificial intelligence under the hood. The camera offers features like the newly released Night Sight, which can smartly brighten up poorly lit photos. While other flagship phones offer multiple cameras to get these features, the Google Pixel series is able to accomplish it with only one lens thanks to its machine learning.

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