Footprint on the lunar surface
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Credit: Space Frontiers / Getty Images

Space out your house with the Apollo 11 module (and ancient freaky creatures) in Google’s AR update

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Aug 25, 2020, 9:05 PM EDT (Updated)

First it was Jurassic Park dinos, but now Google’s taking augmented reality all the way from prehistory to the moon. If your living room’s been missing that certain spacey something to make it a star, now you can plop the Apollo 11 command module right in the middle of your pad.

If, that is, you aren’t preoccupied with making house pets out of all the freaky prehistoric creatures that Google has also included in the newest AR addition to its Arts & Culture app. In partnership with museums around the world, the tech giant has ratcheted up the app’s imagery game, letting you choose from four categories (Art, History, Animals, and Space). Combining your photos with the power of AR results in endless possibilities, though Google handily serves up some suggestions to get you started:

Yep, that kitty doesn’t know what to make of a Cambrian-era Cambropachycope — a tiny crustacean that modern technology allows you to scale up from its tiny 1.5-mm size and plunk down on your rug.

Play around in the Space category, and you can even hang Neil Armstrong’s A-7L Lunar Spacesuit in your closet, scale it up for a Goliath-sized astronaut looming like storm clouds over the neighborhood, or pose it at your front door like a space-age pizza delivery pro.

Credit: Benjamin Bullard / SYFY WIRE

Of course there’s an educational component to all this: Click on Armstrong’s suit and you’ll be whisked to an informative page that dishes some basic encyclopedic knowledge as a jumping-off point to explore more. Thanks to museum contributions that share not just the imagery but the facts, we now know that the the Cambropachycope would’ve aced the trash compactor test on the Death Star: “Its body was laterally flattened — as though it had been squashed between two walls,” Google’s info page reveals.

This isn’t the first time that Google’s given anyone with a smartphone access to the AR-enhanced past. In June, the company teamed with Universal Brand Development, Amblin Entertainment, and game maker Ludia to let dinosaurs rule the Earth once more with 10 AR dinos from the Jurassic World Alive game. Though it takes a little tinkering to get just the right shot, the results have endless sci-fi meme potential — or, at the very least, they’ll confuse your cat.

To check out everything Google’s added in to the Arts & Culture app, visit the updated app's landing page.


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