Google is quickly positioning itself as a leader in using augmented reality (AR) for communicating with consumers—and now it’s turned its attention to YouTube.
ARCore, Google’s platform for building AR experiences, is only a year old and has the potential to bring mixed reality experiences to millions of Android users.
Since ARCore’s launch, Google has been busy building use cases for the development platform.
It partnered with Marvel Studios to market Avengers: Endgame with AR stickers, updated Google Maps to allow Pixel device owners to view walking directions in AR, and try searching for ‘dog’ on your Android smartphone.
Now, Google is readying YouTube’s massive user base for a dose of AR.
AR Beauty Try-On, available to brands and advertisers soon, lets viewers virtually try on makeup while following along with YouTube creators to get tips and product reviews.
A combination of machine learning and AR technology offers realistic, virtual product samples that work on a full range of skin tones. Currently in alpha, AR Beauty Try-On is available through FameBit by YouTube, Google’s in-house branded content platform.
M·A·C Cosmetics is the first brand to partner with FameBit to launch an AR Beauty Try-On campaign.
Aaron Luber, head of branded experiences for AR and VR at Google, explained in a blog post: “Using this new format, brands like M·A·C will be able to tap into YouTube’s vibrant creator community, deploy influencer campaigns to YouTube’s 2 billion monthly active users, and measure their results in real time.”
“We tested this experience earlier this year with several beauty brands and found that 30 percent of viewers activated the AR experience in the YouTube iOS app, spending over 80 seconds on average trying on lipstick virtually.”
Google is also releasing Swirl, its first immersive display format.
Swirl brings three-dimensional (3D) assets to display advertising on the mobile web. Consumers can directly zoom in and out, rotate a product, or play an animation. Swirl is available exclusively through Display and Video 360.
A new editor on Poly, Google’s 3D platform, is also being introduced to provide more editorial control over 3D objects, including new ways to change animation settings, customise backgrounds and add realistic reflections.