Google has some fluffy new endangered AR animals for you to play with
The impact of humans on the Earth, be it through the acceleration of climate change or expansion of our built environment, is driving wild imbalances in nature with invasive species proliferating and endangered ones going extinct. There’s a constant appeal for people at large to take action to protect the planet we live on and the vulnerable animals that are hanging by tooth and nail. One of the latest ways we’re being made aware of what fauna we could soon lose out on is a collaboration between Google and Swedish Society for Nature Conservation.
The tech giant is showcasing five new animals through augmented reality exhibits based in its search engine on mobile: the arctic fox, the harbor porpoise, the lynx, the moss carder bee, and the white-backed woodpecker. Users can put in search queries for each animal, find a special knowledge graph section about it, and then tap the “View in 3D” button to interact with them in AR either in white space or through their device’s camera, depending on the capability. As with any other animal with an AR exhibit — we have a list of more than 100 of them — users will be able to scale the animal as they please and take pictures with them in view.
In a recent survey commissioned by Google and conducted by the Swedish Institute for Opinion, 30% of respondents said they were not aware of endangered species in Sweden. The SSNC considers the harbor porpoise and white-backed woodpecker in particular to be critically endangered, but all of them are threatened by accelerated climate change, pollution, illegal hunting, and deforestry. The conservancy hopes people will keep these species in mind as they make decisions throughout their life and, perhaps, contribute financially to the non-profit so that it can advocate for them and help keep them alive.