Google, Childish Gambino Jointly Release a Multiplayer AR App — Introducing ‘Pharos AR’

During his performance at Coachella, Childish Gambino (i.e., Donald Glover) dropped a few surprises for fans.

Using Apple’s AirDrop technology, the hip-hop artist/actor treated fans at the General Store with a photo.  Fans who accepted the photos were rewarded with a coupon to receive a free pair of Adidas sneakers from the Vintage Market.  Only a handful of fans had 60 minutes to redeem the coupons.

Gambino also dropped another surprise for fans.  He released his highly-anticipated film project with Rihanna.  Fans can watch Guava Island on Amazon Prime Video.

Now, the hip-hop artist has moved forward with another technological venture.

Going all in on AR technology.

In the company’s most recent music collaboration with the artist, Google has partnered with Childish Gambino to release an augmented reality (AR) app.

Earlier this year, both had teamed up to unveil an AR version of Gambino in Playground, the search giant’s creative mode in its Pixel camera.  The Playmoji looks and feels lifelike as it dances and reacts to users’ photos and videos.

Earlier today, the artist launched a multiplayer AR app called Pharos AR.

In a blog post, the company explained users could journey through Gambino’s universe “to the tune of his latest sounds.”

The experience begins with the opening of an AR portal.  Walk through it to explore an augmented cave where you can find and interact with hidden glyphs while still being able to see out into the real world.

Users can journey through Gambino’s universe alone or share their experience with friends.

To enable the multiplayer experience across iOS and Android devices, the search giant uses its Cloud Anchor API technology.  Google built the app using ARCore, its developer platform for building AR experiences.  This lets the app share AR layers across multiple users.  The search giant also used Unity, a widely-used real-time 3D development platform.

Gambino has previously used the Pharos franchise for live performances utilizing 360-degree video projections.

The search giant has released the app on Android. Google promises to release the iOS version soon.


Featured image by Google.