Google’s New Feature Brings Dinosaurs to Your Neighborhood

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If like me, you’ve already wasted hours projecting life-sized ducks or labradors into your living room using Google’s Augmented Reality search feature, you get the appeal of AR animals. Thanks to a recent partnership between Google, Universal Studios, and video game developer Ludia, there’s a new kind of AR creature in town—dinosaurs

As well as being a free way to have fun with your phone and feel like you’re in “Jurassic World”, the 10 AR dinosaurs are also realistically sized, move in a detailed real-life way, and are a great way to learn about the past. Although the dinosaurs move around whatever space you’re in, larger areas work best (the T-Rex struggled to fit in my bedroom). You can even make them appear in videos you record with your phone’s camera “cue Jurassic park theme.”

Speaking to, Camilo Sanin, Ludia’s Lead on Character Creations, outlined the amount of research that went into creating each dinosaur. “To create the 3D dinosaurs, our concept artists first did preliminary research to discover information about each creature,” she says. “Not only did we draw research from various forms of literature, our artists also worked with paleontologists and the ‘Jurassic World’ team to make the assets as accurate and realistic as possible. Even the smallest of details, such as irregularities of skin color and patterns, are important.”

The augmented reality dinosaurs available include extinct beasts such as Velociraptor, Triceratops, Ankylosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Stegosaurus, Dilophosaurus Brachiosaurus, Spinosaurus, Pteranodon and, of course, Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Accessing these dinosaurs is simple. All you have to do is search the term “dinosaur” or the name of the dinosaur you want to check out in Google’s Chrome or Apple’s Safari browser. To see the extinct beasts jump to life in your space, you have to make sure you’re running at least Android 7 or iOS 11 for Apple devices. 

To quote a classic line from the original film, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” When it comes to augmented reality dinosaurs, I’m glad they did.