Google Adds New Search Tools for the Holidays, Including AR Try-On Tools and Map Overlays

Google’s adding some new Search enhancements for the holidays, in order to help businesses maximize interest in the peak shopping season, and to help people get around and maximize their upcoming travels.

First off, Google’s adding some new AR shopping elements for the holiday shopping push, including a new make-up simulator for foundation, which is the most searched make-up category.

As per Google:

Developed with guidance from beauty brands, our new photo library features 148 models representing a diverse spectrum of skin tones, ages, genders, face shapes, ethnicities and skin types. Backed by Google’s technology, this library is a big step toward changing the way people shop for makeup online, helping you better visualize what different products look like on you.

Google already has AR Try On options for lipstick and eye shadow, and this new addition will further expand its virtual testing tools, which could make it easier to find the right shade of foundation for your skin, without having to test it out in-store.

Google’s also adding a new AR sneaker shopping experience, which will enable you to look at shoes in 360 degrees, to get a better idea sense of each.

Google holiday updates  Google Adds New Search Tools for the Holidays, Including AR Try-On Tools and Map Overlays bG9jYWw6Ly8vZGl2ZWltYWdlL2dvb2dsZV9ob2xpZGF5czQucG5n

You can start exploring products from brands like Saucony, VANS and Merrell today, with more coming soon. Just search for a sneaker type, like “Shop blue VANS sneakers,” and tap “View in my space.”

Google says that shoppers engage with 3D imagery 50% more than static photos, which presents a big opportunity for brands to maximize engagement, and interest, via these advanced presentation options.

Google’s also looking to help people find their holiday favorite foods, with two new Search elements that will help you locate exactly the thing you crave.

First, Google’s adding a new element to its Google Lens camera search feature, which will enable users to find where certain foods are being sold nearby.

Google holiday updates  Google Adds New Search Tools for the Holidays, Including AR Try-On Tools and Map Overlays bG9jYWw6Ly8vZGl2ZWltYWdlL2dvb2dsZV9ob2xpZGF5czEucG5n

As you can see in this sequence, you’ll now be able to take a picture of a food item, and Google will show you where you can get it, so you can grab more for yourself after leaving Christmas dinner.

Google’s also added a new search element to help you locate specific food items at restaurants nearby.

Google holiday updates  Google Adds New Search Tools for the Holidays, Including AR Try-On Tools and Map Overlays bG9jYWw6Ly8vZGl2ZWltYWdlL2dvb2dsZV9ob2xpZGF5czMucG5n

So now, you’ll be able to get the exact foods you want to liven up your holiday experience.

Finally, Google’s also rolling out some new additions for Maps to make it easier to get around over the holiday period.

The main addition here is the expansion of Live View, which enables users to explore the things around them via AR overlays. Google’s now making Live View available in London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco and Tokyo on Android and iOS.

“Say you’re visiting New York with plans to knock out your holiday shopping and catch up with friends. Lift your phone and tap on the camera icon in the search bar to see nearby stores and other places like coffee shops, banks and ATMs. With AR-powered directions and arrows, you can see what direction they’re in and how far away they are – and even spot places that aren’t in your immediate view (like a clothing store around the block) to get a true sense of the neighborhood at a glance.

Google holiday updates  Google Adds New Search Tools for the Holidays, Including AR Try-On Tools and Map Overlays bG9jYWw6Ly8vZGl2ZWltYWdlL2dvb2dsZV9ob2xpZGF5czIucG5n

As you can see in these examples, Live View is basically an in-camera version of what AR glasses will provide, with a digital overlay of directions, pointers and other notes on your view.

That could make it a lot easier to find your way around, especially in unfamiliar cities.

Google’s also adding new search elements to highlight wheelchair friendly locations, and electric vehicle charging points.

These are some handy updates – nothing revolutionary, but each providing a glimpse of how emerging technologies can provide direct, practical value, and enhancement for your marketing campaigns.

And while access to Google’s new AR options is fairly limited at this stage, this is where things are headed, with brands set to increasingly lean into 3D modeling, either for AR or for metaverse experiences, to better showcase and promote their items.

Worth considering, and worth checking out over the upcoming holiday period.

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