Google’s mission statement is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” and so it’s a natural fit that they’d be a leader in creating educational experiences for AR & VR. Google Expeditions continues to grow it’s library with 800 new expeditions where they have brought it to 3 million students with their Google Expeditions Pioneer program. They will be expanding to adding AR support for Expeditions soon, and there is also a set of virtual laboratory experiences created by Labster’s that schools can use to supplement or replace their existing labs with virtual biology or chemistry labs. Google also announced Tour Creator, at Google I/O which will allow anyone to create annotated virtual tours with 360 photos that they take or screengrab from Google Streetview. These tours can be uploaded to Google Poly where WebXR will be enabled so that these virtual tour experiences can be shared through a URL.
I had a chance to catch up with a couple of people on Google’s VR/AR Team at Google I/O including Jennifer Holland, who is a program manager for Google Expeditions & Tour Creator as well as Brit Mennuti, a Product Manager for Blocks, Poly, & Tour Creator. I talked with Holland last year at Google I/O, and so she filled me in on everything that’s new with Google’s immersive education initiatives including Google Expeditions, Virtual Tours, and Best Buy’s Google Expeditions Kits.
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