The technology is available for Android and Apple users.


Although you can't visit your local zoo or aquarium to check out the exhibits, you can bring wildlife into your own home. And don't worry, a herd of lions won't tear up your living room furniture. Instead, Google's 3D technology lets you look at (and play with) animated versions of your favorite animals.

The feature isn't exactly new (according to 9 to 5 Google, it's part of ARCore technology that's been around since 2017), but it's seeing an increase in popularity now that people are staying home and searching for ways to stay entertained. (Just a quick search for "Google 3D" on Twitter shows countless tweets of people using it.) Both Apple and Andriod users can use the technology on a variety of devices. To see which phones, tablets, and other gadgets work with Google 3D, check out 9 to 5 Google for a complete list.

tiger screen grab
Credit: Jennifer Aldrich

Once you have your approved tech in hand and charged up, search for a creature via Google. Although there isn't a complete list, there are dozens of options, including a dog, cat, lion, tiger, panda, octopus, horse, raccoon, duck... the list goes on. After Googling, you'll notice that under the Wikipedia page result, which will be at the top, there is a box that reads "Meet a life-sized (animal name) up close" and a button that reads "View in 3D." Simply click on that to place the animal in your home or backyard, which will open up your phone's camera. Point your photo in a room or your yard, and move your phone or tablet around so the technology can get a sense of the surroundings. Once it's set, take a photo and share it!

google 3d animal tiger in living room
Credit: Jennifer Aldrich

I tried out Google 3D in my living room, and my 2-year-old nephew and I thought it was pretty entertaining. Although the animals don't walk around, the tiger did roar, and the panda munched on bamboo, so they're somewhat interactive. If you have kids home from school or need a quick mental break, the animal kingdom is just a click away.


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