Staying inside and away from people during this pandemic is absolutely essential, but it’s hard not to miss the simple pleasures of a trip to the museum. Luckily, you don’t have to go without the dinosaurs.
Google’s augmented reality (AR) search results now include 10 different species of badass dinos, including the Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptor, Triceratops, Spinosaurus, Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Dilophosaurus, Pteranodon, and Parasaurolophus.
It’s part of a collaboration with with Universal Brand Development, Amblin Entertainment, and Ludia, the companies that originally brought the dinosaurs to life for the film Jurassic World.
Since last year’s Google I/O developers conference, the company has been enhancing its search results with 3D models in augmented reality. That included everything from sharks, to muscle flexors, to some collaborations with NASA, Samsung, and Volvo—and now dinosaurs.
To try your own hand at the dino experience, all you really need is a smartphone and the Google Chrome web browser. Simply search for one of the 10 available dinosaurs and tap “View in 3D” to see the ancient beast come to life in a realistic, full-scale model. On Android devices, you can even turn up the volume to hear the dinos roar and stomp, but make sure you’re running Android 7 or later and that you’re using an ARCore-enabled device.
On iOS devices, it’s pretty much the same deal—just make sure you’re using the Google app, or Google.com with either the Chrome or Safari mobile web browser. The service is available for all devices running on iOS 11 and above.
In both cases, you’ll have to move your phone around in the desired space for a few seconds so that the software can adjust the dinosaur to your environment, but after that, you can rotate or zoom in to see the dinosaur better, and even change the scale so that it can fit indoors.
The auto-scale feature is new to Google’s AR search results due to their massive size, Archana Kannan, group product manager for Google AR Experiences, noted in a June 30 blog post. It can “automatically calculate the distance between your phone and a surface in your space and resize the dinosaur so it fits on your phone screen.”
And if you tap “View actual size,” that AR tracking tech will automatically reposition the dinosaur in your space to make room for it.
While these digital models pay faithful homage to the beloved dino franchise, they’re not entirely scientifically accurate. In 2004 (more than a decade after the release of Jurassic Park), Mark Norell, the chairman of paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, discovered the first tyrannosaur with fossilized feathers.
Today, Norell and his contemporaries believe that all tyrannosaurs had feathers, including the fearsome T. rex. And just in case you think that feathers make the king of the lizards seem any less imposing, keep in mind that its jaws could make your bones explode by delivering 7,800 pounds of force.