Extended Reality (XR) is an umbrella term that encompasses immersive technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) to provide users with interactive experiences, merging the physical with the digital world. XR has witnessed a significant surge in popularity across industries in recent years. XR applications have proven their versatility and potential to transform various industry sectors, thus, increasing adoption across multiple industries.

Google, a leader in technology innovation, offers a range of tools and platforms that developers can leverage to create compelling XR experiences. XR applications can seamlessly blend the real world with enriched and engaging experiences tailored to users’ surroundings by harnessing the power of the Google Platform. Incorporating Google Platform APIs, features and tools into XR applications enables developers to unlock new possibilities for creating immersive and location-based experiences that bridge virtual and real worlds.

In this blog, we will explore some of the key Google platforms and how they can be utilized to build immersive XR applications.

Google Platform, Tools and APIs for Building Immersive XR experiences

Google ARCore helps build AR experiences for Android devices. It enables devices to understand the physical world and place virtual objects within it. One can leverage the cameras, motion sensors and other inputs of the mobile devices to create immersive and interactive experiences. Google’s ARCore Geospatial APIs  enhance XR experiences, enabling developers to create compelling location-based applications.

These APIs help place digital content remotely in any area covered by Google Street View for AR experiences. The following anchors can be used to augment the digital information at real-world locations for different use cases in XR applications:

  • Geospatial anchors – In the areas covered by Google Street View, one can place 3D content at any given latitude, longitude and altitude.
  • Terrain anchors help place 3D content relative to ground level.
  • Rooftop anchors help place 3D content on rooftops using only latitude and longitude and using Google’s Visual Positioning System (VPS) relative to building rooftop.

The ARCore and Google Maps Platform power Google’s Geospatial Creator. It enables XR developers to design, build and augment digital content like 3D models in real-world environments, thus, opening new possibilities for immersive experiences. This tool also enables creators to collaborate and contribute to building XR experiences remotely from anywhere in the world. End-users can experience and interact with the 3D models placed in those physical locations, enhancing the user experience and engagements.

Google Street View is a feature of Google Maps that provides panoramic images of streets and other locations around the world. These images can enhance immersive AR/VR experiences that allow users to explore real-world locations in any virtual environment.

Streetscape Geometry helps in experiencing occlusion in AR/MR applications. Also, using Geospatial Depth, one can improve AR experiences by measuring depth using building and terrain data. This is more useful for outdoor AR experiences.

How Persistent Leverages Google Platform to Enhance XR Experiences 

One of the key benefits of leveraging Google platform tools and APIs in XR is the ability to provide users with real-time location-based experiences.

At Persistent, we leverage most of these Google Cloud Platform API tools to create XR experiences for different use cases across industry sectors like Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail, Telecommunication, etc.

Our solutions include navigation and wayfinding, operations, maintenance, field support solutions, business promotion and discovery and virtual field trips.

Using Google Street views, more location specific and street specific imagery and information is augmented and displayed for the users, thus, helping them relate even more to the AR / VR  immersive experiences.

With the help of Google’s Vertex AI’s text generation and language models, we have streamlined the XR content creation for these AR experiences using XRGen – Persistent’s Generative AI-enabled Intelligent XR Solution accelerator.

Vertex AI’s PaLM API offers different models optimized for different use cases. We have leveraged PaLM API’s text generation and language models to generate contextual information and data extraction for XR experiences for many use cases. These are also used for enabling conversational interactions, personalization and customization in the XR applications. This helps expedite building of XR experiences.

In our earlier blog we talked about creating adaptive, interactive and immersive Extended Reality (XR) experiences by leveraging Generative AI models.

Using AR experiences, users can view and interact with digital content for nearby businesses, landmarks and other points of interest, which are overlaid onto the physical environment with the help of world coordinates.

As seen in Fig. 1, we help businesses build customized immersive AR experiences by augmenting 3D objects like location pins and adding respective digital information, which helps their customers know more about the nearby business locations.

Fig 1. AR Experience using Geospatial Anchors

As seen in Fig. 2, we help  build experiences by augmenting business related  information on new services, offers, and products as seen in this  Retail use case.

It can be applied to multiple industries where digital information helps their users with more insights  on their services and products.

Fig 2. Location-based AR Experience for Retail Use Case

These XR experiences also enable users to explore and interact with 3D models of buildings, infrastructure and other structures, by providing an immersive and comprehensive understanding of their physical environment.

Using environmental mapping and tracking, businesses can create AR experiences for indoor and outdoor navigation, object recognition and identification for interactions in physical environment, personalized recommendations and customizations, and location-based advertising and marketing.

Benefits of Leveraging Google Platform Tools and APIs in XR Experiences
  • Cost saving: Using Google Geospatial Creator, businesses can save time and money by reducing the need for physical prototypes or site visits.
  • Improved & Increased Engagement: Interactive 3D models in AR experiences can increase user engagement and provide a more memorable experience.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Google Geospatial Creator enables teams to collaborate more effectively by providing a shared platform for creating and editing 3D models and digital content.
  • Enhanced Visualization Capabilities: By providing a more accurate and detailed representation of location, Google Geospatial Creator, Street views can help users make better decisions.
  • Improved and Increased Accessibility: Google Geospatial Creator makes it easier to view and access locations before creating any customized XR experiences at the real-world location.

Integrating the Google Maps platform’s tools and features into XR experiences offers tremendous potential for enhancing our understanding of the world around us. With its ability to provide real-time location-based experiences, visualizing data and other similar applications across various industries, Google Platform integration is poised to revolutionize the way we experience and interact with our physical environment in XR experiences.

By harnessing these technologies, Persistent helps businesses deliver outstanding customer experiences and –  

  • Improve efficiency  as leveraging Google Gen AI models, enables XR developers eliminate the need for manual content creation for contextual information, saving their time and efforts and at the same time they are able to focus more on experience building.
  • Reduce costs as using Google Maps Platform makes it  easier  to access locations to build as well as access experiences reducing the need for in-person visits to the locations.
  • Increase sales by enabling location intelligence with the help of Google Platform and tools, it helps business visibility. Also, increase in customer engagements help drive their  buying decision. 

With deep expertise in XR technologies and building different AR, VR and MR solutions, Persistent helps organizations build customized, intuitive and immersive experiences. We provide XR development, consultancy and design, services and support to our clients. For more information on Google Platform for Extended Reality, please reach out to us.