With the new season of The Mandalorian underway, Google has launched a new AR app that enables some Star Wars fans to connect with virtual characters in between new episodes.
That is, as long as you have an Android smartphone. Check that...a 5G Android smartphone.
Available now in the Google Play Store, the app puts the titular character in your physical environment. The app is compatible with 5G Pixel devices and other select 5G Android devices from Samsung, LG, OnePlus, Motorola/Levovo, Oppo, Sharp, Sony, and Xiomi.
The app delivers high-quality 3D content (hence the 5G requirement) and uses ARCore's Depth API to enable content to blend in realistically with your physical environment. Additional content debuts each Monday (via Mando Mondays).
"To create this original experience, Google, Disney, and Lucasfilm worked together to imagine a next-generation augmented reality app optimized for 5G devices," said Matthieu Lorrain, head of creative for AR partnerships at Google in a blog post. "Our teams collaborated to build hyper-detailed models and life-like animations—all while packing scenes with fun surprises."
Google has a history of landing exclusive Star Wars AR content and partitioning it to limited audiences. In a tie-in for The Last Jedi, Google provided AR stickers (now known as Playmoji) exclusively for Pixel devices. Of course, Google is infamous for killing products regardless of popularity, and those AR stickers are one of those casualties. Fittingly, even the Playground app that brings Playmoji to Pixel devices has dropped support for Pixel 4a and later devices.
So, if you are one of the chosen few Star Wars fans who can access the app, you'll want to jump in now to enjoy the experience before it's gone.