The promise of AR is that it will enable us to integrate digital objects into the real world, providing a new perspective on the familiar, while also helping us better contextualize objects - specifically products that we may want to purchase online.
And this new integration from Google takes another step in that direction - as reported by Search Engine Land, Google is now adding new 3D images and AR overlays into selected search results, enabling searchers to get a new viewpoint on animals, objects and more.
As you can see here, when you search for 'Panda' in the Google app, some users are now seeing a new 'View in 3D' option, which provides a moveable 3D representation of the animal on screen. You can then also layer a panda into your real-world view, via AR, adding another element to search results.
According to Search Engine Land, Google announced support for 3D images and AR within search at its recent I/O conference, and the first examples of the functionality are now appearing online. Other animals available in 3D/AR include 'shark', 'lion', 'panda' and 'alligator'.
Eventually, Google plans to give businesses the opportunity to utilize the same functionality for their products, with an option to upload 3D models into relevant search listings. That would provide a new capacity for users to see how items would look in their home, and a new visual search wrinkle to consider in coming SEO approaches.
It's not available to all users as yet, the functionality is still in limited testing. But it's another element to keep in mind as AR becomes increasingly mainstream - and its applications grow as a result.