Google unveils Marvel, Childish Gambino AR partnerships at Pixel event

Hang out with Iron Man, Hulk and Childish Gambino in Pixel's newly revealed Playground.

Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
Sean knows far too much about Marvel, DC and Star Wars, and poured this knowledge into recaps and explainers on CNET. He also worked on breaking news, with a passion for tech, video game and culture.
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Sean Keane
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Hulk and Iron Man made cameos at Tuesday's Google event.

Google/Screenshot by CNET

Google has made it possible for you to join the Avengers, unveiling a new AR team-up with Marvel Studios as part of a big hardware event the search giant held Tuesday in New York.

At the event, Liza Ma, a Google product manager, and Brian Rakowski, vice president of product management, also revealed that the company is working with actor and rapper Donald Glover to bring his Childish Gambino stage personal to Playground, the Google Pixel's "evolved" augmented reality sticker brand.


Childish Gambino showed up too.

Google/Screenshot by CNET

Stickers are incorporated into the Google Pixel phone's front and rear cameras. In a demonstration video, animations of Iron Man and the Hulk are layered onto a photo of a city rooftop.

"These characters are rendered to feel lifelike in the scene and they even interact with each other," said Ma of the Marvel heroes.

Scenes from Google's Pixel 3 event

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She noted the characters can respond to your actions and facial expressions, giving the sense that they're in the scene with you.

"Create and play with the world around you," the search giant tweeted. "With Playground, your Pixel 3 photos and videos come to life with cameos from superheroes, animated stickers and fun captions."

Playground is launching on Pixel 3, and will roll out on Pixel 1 and 2. The company didn't provide a start date for the rollout, but Ma said it would be "soon."

The Playground reveal came at an event at which Google unveiled a handful of new products, including the Pixel 3.

Watch this: Google shows off the Pixel 3 and PIxel 3 XL

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