Google announces the full release of Expeditions AR as well as updates to its Expeditions app.
In a continued show of confidence towards VR & AR technology as influential tools in the classroom, Google has today made its limited Google Expeditions AR tours program available to the public free of charge. Previously only available to a lucky one million students over the course of the last school year during the Expeditions AR Pioneer program, the informative tool is now open to all via the Google Expeditions app on Android and iOS.
Since its initial launch just three years ago, the Google Expeditions program has used immersive technology to deliver over 800 VR tours to some of the most exotic and historic locations across the earth. Most recently, the company unveiled their Tour Creator, a web-based VR development tool that allows even those totally unfamiliar with VR development to build their own 360-degree tours using personal images or those provided by Google Street View.
Keeping in tune with their new label as Google AR & VR, the innovative tech giant has officially made its Expeditions AR tours program free to the public with 100 AR tours ready to explore right out of the gate.
Whereas Expeditions VR has been centered more around transporting users to distant locations, this AR counterpart focuses on delivering the art, animals and other culturally-significant objects you might find there.
“While we’ve seen first hand how powerful a tool VR is for going places, we think augmented reality (AR) is the best way to learn more about the things you find there,” Google states in a blog post. “Imagine walking around a life-sized African elephant in your classroom or putting a museum’s worth of ancient Greek statues on your table.”
“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.” spoke Darin Nakakihara, Irvine Unified School District.
Google has also made several changes to the Expeditions app to better help you find new tours to explore, keep track of your own creations, and easily start your own solo adventure. Know an educator who may think their classroom could benefit from the innovative program? Schools can now purchase the very first Expeditions AR/VR kits via Best Buy Education.
Image Credit: Google AR and VR