Google wants to make it easier for others to create powerful mixed reality experiences with the official release of a new Google Cloud tool, Immersive Stream for XR. The tool allows you to scan a QR code or click a link to access a mixed reality experience. Behind the scenes, Google Cloud GPUs host, render, and stream those experiences to your device. according to a blog post.
Google says it’s already using the technology for its new immersive view in Google Maps, which lets you look at a 3D model of certain cities overlaid with details like traffic and nearby restaurants. But the company is also highlighting other ways to use Immersive Stream for XR, such as placing virtual furniture in augmented reality (not exactly a new idea) or seeing virtual cars while shopping (not the newest idea either).
Immersive Stream for XR was first announced at Google I/O in 2022but in addition to its wide availability on Thursday, Google also revealed that it now supports content created in Unreal Engine 5. Unreal Engine is becoming increasingly popular among game developers, but it is also used for many non-game applications and the addition of support for UE5 can be a boon for developers looking to take advantage of Immersive Stream for XR.
Google’s broader ambitions for mixed reality are somewhat up in the air now that we know Google Labs VP Clay Bavor will be leaving the company in March. Google won’t replace Bavor; instead, his mandate will be split among other executives at the company.