Iconic anime characters come to life

Published July 11, 2021, 9:29 AM

by Jules Vivas

Interact with your favorite character in 3D and augmented reality

IN THE PALM OF YOUR HANDS Hello Kitty AR

While we are unable to go outdoors, celebrated cartoon characters from some of our favorite shows could now come out to play. Digitalization has made almost anything feasible, which includes giving temporary life to anime characters via augmented reality or AR.

In contrast to virtual reality,AR superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world. So, it’s possible to spend time and connect with our fave characters using only our smartphones and their camera.

Some may be familiar with this relatively new concept. One of the top AR games out there right now is Pokemon Go, developed in 2016 by Niantic in collaboration with Nintendo and Pokémon Company. Pokemon is a huge title on its own. It is every child’s dream to interact with a pocket monster, which has pretty much sealed the deal for the continued success of the game.

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Among the very few initiatives to push for this relatively new concept is Google’s ARCore. This software development kit developed by the multinational technology company aims to integrate both virtual and physical worlds in a multitude of devices.

“Filipinos are among the biggest fans of anime and Japanese pop culture in the world. Tagalized anime series used to dominate on free-to-air TV, becoming a significant part of many Filipinos’ childhood. Now in the digital era, we want to use Google Search to bring anime fans closer to their beloved characters and bring back their fondest memories with them,” said the head of communications and public affairs for Google Philippines, Mervin Wenke. “During difficult times, we hope that simple joys like this can also provide comfort in one way or another.”

You can now access and enjoy some of the most recognizable anime characters in 3D and AR by using Google Search on your handheld devices. 

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Think Hello Kitty, Pompompurin, Little Twin Stars, Ultraman, Gomora, Ultraman Zero, Ultraman Belial, Pac-Man, Taiko no Tatsujin, Evangelion, Gundam Penelope, Gundam Odysseus, Xi Gundam, and Cogimyun.

‘During difficult times, we hope that simple joys like this can also provide comfort in one way or another.’

In 2015, the Philippines has been the number one country with the most searches for Hello Kitty, eighth for Little Twin Stars, and ninth for Gundam.

Accessing the AR characters is simple. Search for one of their names on Google via a mobile device, then tap the option View in 3D. These characters can be rotated, zoomed, and be brought to your personal space with AR. Turn the volume up to hear Hello Kitty deliver a cute message or to get nostalgic with Pac-Man’s retro sound effects.

 
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