Pose with a pony, meet up with a Macaw or befriend a Bengal Tiger….

The Google Search engine is one of the most powerful tools on the planet and now, with AR enabled search, it is more awesome than ever. Working closely with Google’s creative team, we helped test the potential of AR enabled search by populating the engine with 3D life-sized animals that can magically appear in any real-world setting. 

The Challenge

To test the potential use of AR enabled search by creating a contagiously fun, informative and engaging experience aimed at bringing people closer to animals and the natural world. 

Our Approach

Research, research, research! In order to make the experience of conjuring up an exotic animal in an ordinary world setting feel like a genuine encounter, we had to be highly realistic in our depiction of these creatures, both anatomically and through their animated behaviour. Our in-house animators studied hours of reference footage to inform the build of the models and the movements of the animated creatures.

Whilst the fidelity of AR animation is improving constantly, working with real-time content for mobile has file size limitations. In the end, we managed to balance realism and authenticity with quick loading times to ensure we gave the user the best possible experience. 

The Impact

The 3D animals have been incredibly popular and shared by millions across the world. They have allowed people to interact with wildlife in a totally new way and one which doesn’t require animals to be held in captivity. The project went on to win PETA’s ‘Proggy’ award for ‘helping to create a more humane world’

The popularity of the creatures soared during the Covid-19 global pandemic (and not just because of the world’s fascination with a certain Tiger King!) but for educational purposes too, providing a useful tool for home-schooling parents. The project helped set the precedent for future uses of AR enabled search which will undoubtedly influence the way brands use this technology in years to come.