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Google's AR 'save button' would let you post digital notes on real world

Imagine "leaving AR notes for your friends ... or hiding AR objects at specific places around the world," the search giant says of the Cloud Anchors feature it's testing.


Google's ARCore platform puts an augmented world at your fingerprints.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Google on Thursday outlined updates to its ARCore platform, which lets developers build augmented reality experiences for your phone. The search giant also previewed a feature it's describing as a "save button" for AR.

Google said it's looking for more developers to help it test an AR technology called persistent Cloud Anchors before the company makes it available more broadly. Google rolled out Cloud Anchors, shared points of data stored in the cloud, as part of ARCore last year. While augmented reality overlays digital objects on the real world, Cloud Anchors enables things like multiplay games where people see and interact with AR objects simultaneously.

Now Google wants to take things even further with persistent Cloud Anchors that can stick around for an extended period of time. 

"Imagine working together on a redesign of your home throughout the year, leaving AR notes for your friends around an amusement park, or hiding AR objects at specific places around the world to be discovered by others," wrote Google's Christina Tong in a blog post. "By enabling a "save button" for AR, we're taking an important step toward bridging the digital and physical worlds to expand the ways AR can be useful in our day-to-day lives."

Persistent Cloud Anchors are already being used in Mark AR, an app that lets people create and discover AR graffiti in real-world locations, Google said.

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