Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic is showing signs of winding down, nevertheless, Google will still hold its annual I/O developer conference as a virtual affair, with keynotes and sessions available as live streams and on-demand videos starting Tuesday, May 18 and concluding on Thursday, May 20.
As a consolation prize, Google has a web-based AR treat for attendees and observers to bring a taste of the conference into their own home offices.
The Google I/O Photo Booth is a web app that is available for desktop and mobile browsers and adds animated brand mascots and Easter eggs from across Google's ecosystem, including the Android's Bugdroid, Chrome's Offline Dino, Flutter's Dash, and Firebase's Sparky, to your camera view.
After adding your virtual friends, you can then take a photo and add more props, including Google products, fashion accessories, snacks, app icons, and more, to the photo before finalizing it for downloading and sharing. The web app also gives you the ability to resize, rotate, and adjust the placement of the virtual objects within the scene.
It's not the most technically impressive example of web-based AR from Google. In fact, just last month, Google published a collection of WebXR experiments that run circles around the Google I/O Photo Booth. Rather, this new example shows off the power of Flutter and Firebase in constructing web apps, particularly one that involves the camera, the center of the mobile AR world.
Google's web-based augmented reality capabilities, including the addition of Scene Viewer to ARCore, the growing library of 3D content available via Google Search, and support for the WebXR standard in Google Chrome have grown considerably over the past few years.
With Google I/O becoming the showcase for the company's newest advances in AR, this new virtual photo booth is a fitting appetizer for the forthcoming entrees and desserts.