Google’s new “Playground” brings more awesome-looking animated characters to the Pixel 3‘s camera. It’s an “evolution” of the older AR Stickers feature, according to Google.

Impressively, the characters you can add with Playground can now respond to your actions and facial expressions. They’re rendered to feel lifelike in the scene with appropriate lighting and shadows. And they can even interact with each other.

Google showed off Marvel characters like Iron Man and The Hulk, which looked great. They’re part of the new Marvel Studios pack. There are also new packs for Weather, Pets, Sports, and Signs.

More characters will arrive in the future, too. For example, Google is working on a Childish Gambino character, which will be “coming soon” to Playground. Childish Gambino is Donald Glover’s stage name.

The Marvel and Childish Gambino characters are exclusive to the Pixel, so you won’t see them in any other smartphone’s camera app.

The new name highlights what the feature is for: Playful photos and videos. It doesn’t sound technical like “AR Stickers” does, although Playground is an even more advanced use of augmented reality.

Playground is launching on Pixel 3, and will also arrive on Pixel 2 and Pixel 1.

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Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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