Google’s love of Easter Eggs is unmatched and this year the hardware team is getting in on the action. Taking Google Lens to the back of the Pixel 4’s retail packaging reveals an AR greeting to buyers.
Lens is Google’s gateway to online content via real-world objects. A part of the revamp announced at I/O 2019 in May, pointing the visual search tool at paintings can bring up information about the artwork, while scanning an NBA team’s logo loads scores.
These “Living Surfaces” — as Google refers to them — can also be used in advertising. One notable example this year was a Stranger Things 3 newspaper tie-in.
The back of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL box features a product shot of the phone surrounded by tastefully arranged objects. Having Google Lens analyze it starts an augmented reality experience where that real-life picture is overlaid by a “#Welcome to #teampixel” greeting.
Abstract shapes animate the scene, while Clearly White, Just Black, and Oh So Orange each have a slightly different Pixel 4 Easter Egg. After this, a virtual phone flips over as pictures shot on Pixel scroll through. Besides a hello, another purpose of this AR experience is getting you to follow Google Pixel on Instagram. Tapping anywhere slides up a Lens card that takes you to the profile. This also makes for a fun way to demo Google Lens right out of the box.
What makes this augmented reality is how Google blends videos and animations with the physical environment. The object that launched the experience — and your surroundings — are kept in the live frame. Like other Living Surfaces, you can use any Android or iOS device with Lens to experience the Pixel 4 Easter Egg yourself:
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