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Star Wars gets help from Google's new VR tool

The new tool, called Seurat, could help create immersive Star Wars experiences.

Erin Carson Former Senior Writer
Erin Carson covered internet culture, online dating and the weird ways tech and science are changing your life.
Expertise Erin has been a tech reporter for almost 10 years. Her reporting has taken her from the Johnson Space Center to San Diego Comic-Con's famous Hall H. Credentials
  • She has a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.
Erin Carson
Watch this: New Google tools will power Star Wars VR high-end mobile experiences

The next Star Wars film might be just that much better thanks to a new technology from Google.

The search giant unveiled a new tool called Seurat at its Google I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California, on Thursday. It partnered with ILMxLab, the branch of Star Wars maker Lucasfilm that's focused on new technologies, to come up with a better way visualize scenes in virtual reality.

Seurat, which yes is named after the famous painter, can take a high-fidelity scene like something you might find in a high-end video game, and run it on a low-power mobile VR headset. The result: cinematic realism in VR.

It's unclear from Google's presentation what this technology will ultimately be used for, whether its aimed at filmmakers or developers making VR experiences for fans -- or both.

Google I/O, a playground for developers (pictures)

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"When I see people in our demo looking at the floor on their hands and knees, down to inspect the curvature of every bend and twist, I really think we're onto something," said Lewey Geselowitz, a senior UX engineer at ILMxLabs, in a video.

Google and ILMxLab said this is the first time they've been able to take high quality, cinematic images and turn them into something that can be looked at in real time. To them, this is a breakthrough.