Google tool helps developers create XR experiences

Google has released a tool called Immersive Stream for XR that makes it easier for developers to create mixed-reality experiences.

Earlier this week, the company held an event where it demonstrated a new “immersive view” in Google Maps that uses advances in AI and computer vision to fuse billions of Street View and other images to create a detailed 3D model of locations. Impressively, it even works indoors to allow users to check out a venue like a restaurant before they go:

Immersive Stream for XR powers the new Google Maps view and the company is making it generally available for developers.

The tool leverages Google Cloud GPUs to host, render, and stream high-quality photorealistic experiences. Users don’t need powerful hardware or specific applications to enjoy a mixed-reality experience, they only need to click a link or scan a QR code.

Beyond powering the new immersive view in Google Maps, other early use cases for the tool include helping customers to visualize new appliances in their homes and virtually configuring a new vehicle.

“At Kia Germany, we are excited to use Google Immersive Stream for XR to reach new consumers and provide them the perfect experience to discover our Sportage,” said Jean-Philippe Pottier, Manager of Digital Platforms at Kia Germany.

“Our users love that they can change colors, engines, and interact with the model in 3D and augmented reality.”

Immersive Stream for XR was initially unveiled in preview during last year’s I/O. The general release this week brings with it several improvements:

  • Content can now be developed in Unreal Engine 5.
  • Landscape orientation is now supported to improve the experience on tablet and desktop devices, enabling developers to take advantage of the increased real estate for more sophisticated interactions.
  • The ability to embed Immersive Stream for XR content on your own website using an HTML iframe.

Google has created a template project to help developers get started with the new Unreal Engine 5 and landscape mode support. You can find the template here.

Related: Google unveils AI enhancements to Search and Maps

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Tags: ar, augmented reality, development, google, google cloud, immersive stream, immersive stream for xr, mixed reality, tool, virtual reality, vr, xr

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