Google’s new AR experiment conjures portals to the other side of the planet

It’s 2021 and the coronavirus pandemic is still looming large, so our travel plans to exotic destinations will have to wait. But thankfully, we can travel virtually through magical AR portals.

Google’s new experiment called Floom creates vortexes in your room that’ll let you see what’s on the other side of the globe, literally.

Here’s how it works. Head to the Floom site in Chromeon your Android device. After approving necessary permissions, point your camera to an empty space on the floor. You might need to walk around a bit for it to work.

Google’s experimental Floom Portal

You can tilt your phone to change the direction of the tunnel, and the app will build a new portal that takes you to a different destination on the globe. You can tap on the portal to open a Google Earth-powered map to explore the place.

Here’s how the Floom portal looks on your floor

This new app is built on the WebXR platform, which aims to deliver VR and AR experiences on multiple devices, including phones, desktop computers, and specialized headsets. Apart from Floom, Google has launched a bunch of other WebXR experiments such as a measurement app (with support for volume and area calculations), and a virtual social distancing radar. You can check them out here.

Currently, Floom just works on Chrome for Android —  sorry iPhone users, you’re out of luck. You can access the experiment here.

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Published April 8, 2021 — 06:31 UTC

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