Google’s AR (augmented reality) stickers, which were available till now only on Pixel 2 smartphones, can now be accessed on any Android smartphone through the Motion Stills app. Published by Research for Google, Motion Stills (free; Android) was launched last year to bring electronic image stabilization capability to affordable Android smartphones. If you still haven’t tried them out, here is your chance.

How are AR stickers different from regular stickers?

What separates AR stickers from regular stickers, available in a number of camera and messenger apps, is their three-dimensional design which looks more realistic. So an AR sticker when placed on a static or moving horizontal surface such as table, floor, or hand, will look like a part of the actual 3D space in front of the camera, unlike regular stickers which look more like flat 2D images. Users can capture them as photos or record them as video clips or GIFs.

How to use them

The AR stickers in Motion Stills are available under the AR mode and show right on the home screen, allowing users to get to them quickly. Users can drop them in the space in front of the camera by tapping on the sticker icon. Once the sticker shows on the screen, users can place them anywhere in the space by tapping on the screen. They can also change its orientation and size with simple pinch and zoom gestures. These stickers work offline and can be accessed anytime. The number of AR stickers available in Motion Stills is limited compared to stickers on the Pixel smartphones. It includes only 6 objects, including alien, dinosaur, hen and robot, as of now.

How AR mode works

The AR stickers in Motion Stills will work with any Android smartphone. It doesn’t require special AR sensors to track distance and position, but relies on the camera sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope, which are available on all smartphones. Accelerometer is used to detect the initial orientation of the smartphone and its position with respect to the ground plane, while gyroscope is used to track sideways rotation and twist so the app can render the virtual object in the exact position users want to put it in the space in front of the camera.

Close