Google brings AR stickers to Android phones through its Motion Stills app

An announcement came from Google’s Research Blog that Google would be incorporating support for Augmented Reality (AR) stickers in the Motion Stills app through CNET.

AR mode is powered by instant motion tracking, a six degree of freedom tracking system built upon the technology that powers Motion Text in Motion Stills iOS and the privacy blur on YouTube to accurately track static and moving objects. This technology was reshaped and improved by Google to facilitate fun AR experiences that can run on any Android device with a gyroscope.

The first time the AR stickers feature was introduced was sometime late last year on the Google Pixel 2 in which there was an added ability to insert AR versions of characters from Star Wars and Stranger Things directly into pictures and videos. Nevertheless, the Motions Stills version is not so much as sophisticated and it does not use the Google’s ARCore platform.

Rather than the ARCore platform, Google capitalizes on the existing accelerometers and gyroscopes of a device to accomplish an effect of a similar nature, “sticking” a virtual object on a flat surface (for example, a table or upon the palm) and tracking the location of the device to show the object accurately.

Once you touch the viewfinder, Motion Stills AR “sticks” a 3D virtual object to that location, causing it to appear as if it’s part of the real-world scene. By assuming that the tracked surface is parallel to the ground surface, and using the accelerometer sensor of the device to provide the primary orientation of the phone with respect to the ground plane, a user can track the six degrees of freedom of the camera (3 for translation and 3 for rotation). This permits us to accurately transform and render the virtual object within the scene.

The resultant object looks the same as what the Google Pixel 2 can produce, giving users the liberty of inserting polygonal chickens, robots, and dinosaurs into scenes (unfortunately, the branded experiences from the Google Pixel 2 are not available). Motion Stills also gives users permission to take Graphics Interchange Formats (GIFs) and videos with the stickers already inserted thus making it a lot easier to share online.

Currently, the update is available for Android users that own any recent mobile device that has a gyroscope.

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