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Google Expeditions Introduces AR Tours

Google uses Augmented Reality as a new tool for learning in Google Expeditions.

Immersive technology like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) can be very valuable for training and education. In the case of schoolchildren, it can let them travel to places they have never seen before, and with AR, amazing and fantastic things can come to them. The latter case is when Google is testing out with its new Google AR Expeditions.

For the past year, Google have been testing out the AR technology with a selected sample of students, and now the technology is being made available to anyone through the Google Expeditions app.

Expeditions AR tours lets users bring a full-sized African elephant into the room, letting students walk around and examine the giant creature from all angles, or look at the artistry and design of ancient Greek statues.

The Google Expeditions app is available on both Android and iOS, and has been updated to help users find new tours they might be interested in or find a tour that has been previously saved. Over 100 AR tours have already been made available, alongside 800 VR tours created Google Arts & Culture partners like the Smithsonian, Oxford University Press, Museo Dolores Olmedo and Aquila Education.

“AR takes the abstract and makes it concrete to the students. We wouldn’t be able to see a heart right on the desk, what it looks like when beating, and the blood circulating.” said Darin Nakakihara of the Irvine Unified School District.

The upgraded Google Expeditions app can be used on a compatible android or iPhone which has ARKit or ARCore. Schools can also purchase Expeditions VR and AR kits from Best Buy Education, further information on this can be found on the Best Buy website.

The Google AR tours have already helped over one million students learn about a variety of subjects from biology to Impressionist art, and Google say it is keen to see it continue to grow. Further news on how immersive technology is being used in education will be covered here on VRFocus.

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