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Google expands AR assistance for search-based shopping

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Customers searching for beauty products and sneakers on Google have new ways to make the experience more lifelike, supported by augmented reality (AR) technology.

Google, which initially began enabling consumers to visualize makeup looks and try on beauty products directly from online and mobile search results with AR technology in December 2020, is introducing the following two new AR-based shopping features. 

Finding the proper foundation shade

According to Google, the foundation is the most-searched category within makeup. Foundation also requires a high degree of matching to the consumer’s exact individual skin tone, making it especially hard to find the best shade and product.

Google is releasing a new AR shopping feature designed to ease the process of finding a foundation match. Developed with guidance from beauty brands, a new photo library features 148 models representing a diverse spectrum of skin tones, ages, genders, face shapes, ethnicities and skin types.

As a result, consumers can now search for a foundation shade on Google across a range of prices and brands. They will see what that foundation looks like on models with a similar skin tone, including before and after shots. Once a customer has found a specific foundation product they like in Google search results, they can select a retailer to buy.

Sneaker try-out in 3D and AR

Similar to how shoppers can view furniture in their space with Google’s AR home goods feature, they can now shop for sneakers using AR. Starting Thursday, Nov. 17, consumers can spin, zoom and see shoes from Google search results in their personal space as they decide if the color, laces, tread or sole fit their style.

Current sneaker brands available for this 3D AR search capability include Saucony, Vans, and Merrell, with more scheduled to come soon. Customers can search for a sneaker type and tap “View in my space.” Any brand with 3D assets for sneakers or home goods can now participate in this feature.

Google is also investing in new ways to create 3D spins of shoes, which it plans to start using in the coming months.

There's no replacing the feeling of visiting your favorite store,” Danielle Buckley, Director of Product, Consumer Shopping, Google, said in a corporate blog post. “But for the days you just can’t make it there, these features can help bring that experience to you. And we’ll keep working on ways to make online shopping more life-like, so you can get your shopping done with confidence — and feel like you really are there.”

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