After months of teasing, Google’s finally brought its AR stickers to the Pixel 2. The feature is expected to roll out today as part of an Android 8.1 update. The feature was announced on-stage at the Pixel event back in January 2017, offering a sneak peek of a fun little addition made possible through its ARCore technology, letting users drop augmented reality characters onto their own pictures and video.
It was a pretty compelling demonstration of Google’s ARKit competitor, and now its live for everyone to check out, including a couple of key product licenses. The Stranger Things stickers that brought creatures from Netflix’s popular series with them will also be available with the update. And, a mere few days ahead of the much-anticipated release of The Last Jedi, the feature brings a bunch of new content from the Star Wars universe.
The company’s celebrating the launch with a pretty delightful new ad, as well, incorporating elements from The Last Jedi trailer into real world setting, with lot of kids, grownups and dogs dressed up as character from the movie. The sticker pack includes dynamic models of First Order Stormtroopers, imperial walkers, X-Wings and Tie-Fighters, familiar droids like R2D2 and BB-8 and, of course, Porgs.
There’s also a bunch of party paraphernalia and Foodmoji, which are more in line with Snapchat’s viral dancing hot dog than Apple’s Animoji offer — but should do an equally good job helping you kill time with you new phone. The sticker sets are available today for most Pixel 2 users as a free download, though some might be getting them over the next few days.
Apple Vision Pro Developer Kits Are Now Available
Today, Apple revealed the much-awaited Apple Vision Pro developer kits, offering developers the chance to apply and receive their kit starting immediately. The kit includes an Apple Vision Pro “loaner” headset, enabling developers to create and test applications.
Apart from the Vision Pro headset, developers will receive comprehensive support throughout the process, including device setup and onboarding assistance, regular check-ins with Apple experts for UI design and development guidance, and support in refining their apps. Additionally, each developer granted a kit will receive two extra code-level support requests to troubleshoot any code-related issues.
Apple emphasizes that the Apple Vision Pro headsets are Apple-owned development devices and must remain in a private, secure workspace accessible exclusively to approved developers. Apple will maintain regular communication with developers using the kit, and the kit may be requested to be returned at Apple’s discretion.
To apply for the developer kit, interested developers can visit Apple’s website. During the application process, Apple will gather information about the team’s development skills and existing apps, with priority given to applicants focusing on creating apps that leverage visionOS features and capabilities.
Dell Technologies Launches AR App to Help You Repair Dell Systems
Dell Technologies has announced a first-of-its-kind augmented reality app for IT repairs, the Dell AR Assistant. This free application (available on both IOS and Android) provides a step-by-step augmented reality experience to help customers replace parts on their Dell systems, enabling the next generation of consumer repairability.
AR Assistant users can see their devices and how to repair them using mixed reality and informational overlays on the machine being repaired, leveraging a smartphone camera. The app also has an augmented clone technology on select systems, which displays a cloned server in any desired space and allows full 360-degree interaction.
Dell’s AR Assistant guides users through servicing and repair procedures for more than 100 Dell PCs and servers in seven different languages. Dell is currently working to add over 20 additional systems by the end of the summer. The aim is to enable consumers to easily repair devices themselves where they are able to – and ultimately reduce repair time for issues that can be resolved by the users themselves, with a little help from Dell.
The app’s development was fast-tracked during the early months of the pandemic when technicians were unable to visit people’s homes. Currently, the use of the Dell AR Assistant is dependent on proper diagnosis first, then ordering parts through the technical support team. The future plan is to make parts more readily and easily available for sale online for an even easier customer experience.
The Dell AR Assistant also upholds Dell’s wide-reaching and longstanding commitment to sustainability. By making parts more accessible, replaceable, and reusable, Dell can exhaust fewer resources and keep more circular materials in the economy, while helping customers extend the life of their systems.
Snapchat Brings the Saudi UNESCO Heritage Site to Life with Augmented Reality
Snap Inc. has collaborated with the Royal Commission of AlUla to bring a new dimension to the Desert X AlUla art exhibition, with the first sponsored Landmarker in the Middle East.
During the event, artists Zahrah Al Ghamdi (Saudi Arabia), eL Seed (Tunisia) and Lita Albuquerque (United States) will feature their work on Snapchat’s inaugural the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Landmarker location, Qasr Al Farid. The artists’ work will be brought to life using a dedicated lens, creating an exciting augmented reality (AR) experience for everyone to participate in.
“We are excited to have Desert X AlUla, the first international collaboration for Desert X, as part of Winter at Tantora festival,” said Nora Aldabal, Arts and Culture Programs Director at Royal Commission of AlUla. “Artists from around the world will showcase their art in the desert of AlUla, home to a series of fascinating historical and archaeological sites. Having Snapchat participate in this landmark event will bring the landscape of AlUla to life in an entirely new light, in a juxtaposition of modern technology and history.”
To enable the feature, when Snapchatters are close to Qasr Al-Farid they will be prompted to find the icon of this landmark. Royal Commission of AlUla’s sponsored lens will be the first placement in Snapchat’s lens carousel, and as Snapchatters point their phones’ cameras at Qasr Al-Farid, they will be able to bring to life the work of the three exhibiting artists over a 6-week time span at 2-week intervals each. Each experience is specific to the artist’s work and will have its own unique sound to come full circle.
“I am thrilled to be among the artists whose work will be uniquely displayed on Qasr Al-Farid using a Snapchat Lens,” said Zahrah Al Ghamdi, one of the exhibiting artists at Desert-X AlUla. “This amazing feature will transform my artwork into an interactive experience. Augmented reality has become an integral element that brings art to life and provides people with an unparalleled experience.”
Introduced in 2019, Landmarkers are Snapchat Lenses that enable augmented reality experiences that transform the world’s most iconic landmarks in real-time.
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