Alongside the Pixel 2 back in October, Google announced an immersive experience called AR Stickers. It’s a collection of animated objects and characters that drop into real-world settings just by utilizing your phone’s camera. The technology inside the company’s latest flagship is able to master augmented reality through enhanced tracking and rendering. With the Pixel 2, you can place interactive stickers in low-light conditions and at 60 frames per second.
The feature has been in development for quite a bit, but now it’s ready for showtime. Owners of the Pixel 2, as well as the Pixel from 2016, can starting using AR Stickers today.
Accessing the new-yet-limited library of AR Stickers isn’t difficult. Just launch the Camera app on the Pixel or Pixel 2, swipe in from the left side, and you’ll find the dedicated mode listed.
Your phone will immediately show categories of stickers and previews of what you can choose from. See anything interesting? Drag as many of them onto the screen as you’d like, and your phone will make them come alive.
The current lineup of stickers boasts categories like Star Wars, Foodmoji, Text, Celebration, and Stranger Things. While Google intends to make a bunch of sticker packs, there will be a reliance on partners to step forward. But, for now, it’s a tight-knit selection. Google only says “more AR Sticker packs” are coming “in the future.” We’ll be on the lookout for when the next batch arrive.
Stickers are able to interact with each other, and there’s no better way to see that than having Eleven from Stranger Things take on the Demogorgon. The other characters from Netflix’s popular show stand nearby in awe of her abilities. And the same type of thing happens when you drop multiple Star Wars-based stickers in the same room. BB-8 and BB-9E can move around each other as if they’re really in front of you. There’s even the choice of creating your own group of stormtroopers. And, yes, you can mix stickers from different categories to see what they do together.
If you’d like to start over, the Camera app always shows a Trash icon. Tap it once for undoing a change, and tap it twice to get a clean canvas.
Pictures and videos can be captured, and the quality isn’t reduced because of the stickers. It’s actually surprising since most augmented reality-based platforms tend to compress files. AR Stickers, though, are great for sharing on social media.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to be on Android 8.1 Oreo to enjoy AR Stickers. Google’s pairing it with the latest version of Android on Pixel phones. If you have another brand’s phone, you’re out of luck. There’s no word on when AR Stickers will leave Google’s nest.