Google Adds Pac-Man, Hello Kitty, And Other Japanese Anime And Video Game Characters To AR Search “Mobile AR News :: Next Reality

Gamers, anime fans, and those interested in Japanese culture will have a blast in AR courtesy of Google.

On Tuesday, the company added 14 3D renditions of popular Japanese characters, featuring pop culture icons Pac-Man and Hello Kitty, to its list of augmented reality content available in Google search.

In addition to Pac-Man and Hello Kitty, you can see Ultraman, Ultraman Zero, Ultraman Belial, Gomorra, Evangelion (Evangelion Unit 1), Gundam (Odusseus Gundam, Kusui Gundam, Penelope), Kogimyun, Taiko Master, Pompompurin and Little Stars binoculars.

Image by Google / YouTube

Some characters are accompanied by special animations or sound effects. For example, Pac-Man gobbles up points while being chased by ghosts, while Hello Kitty delights you in Japanese and English. Each of the AR characters can be resized and captured in photos or videos for sharing elsewhere, but the additional effects could create some interesting social content.

“Japanese cartoon and video game culture emerged between the 1950s and 1980s, as comics, video game rooms, and home TVs and consoles exploded. But it wasn’t just a Japanese phenomenon, “Google Japan’s Arisa Toyosaki said in a statement. “The most iconic characters have captured the imaginations of people around the world, and they are still extremely popular today.”

Images by Tommy Palladino / Next Reality

AR characters can be accessed by searching for the target character through the Google app and Android browsers on ARCore compatible phones.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you’ll need the Google app and an ARKit-enabled device.

Images by Tommy Palladino / Next Reality

After starting with animals, Google gradually expanded its library of AR content in search, with help from content publishers like NASA and brands like Target, Adidas, and Volvo. Baby Yoda even made its way to AR via Search.

The latest addition of AR characters follows a Pizza Hut promotion that turns Pac-Man into AR. With location-based Pokémon GO-style AR games slated for Hello Kitty and Pikmin, this likely won’t be the last time we see some of the most popular Japanese video game and animation characters appear in AR.

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