The feature was first introduced exclusively on the Google Pixel 2 late last year, and added the ability to insert AR versions of characters from Star Wars and Stranger Things directly into pictures and videos. The Motion Stills version is less advanced, and doesn’t use the company’s ARCore platform.
Instead, Google takes advantage of a device’s existing accelerometers and gyroscopes to achieve a similar effect, “sticking” a virtual object on a flat plane (like a table or a hand) and tracking the location of the device to accurately show the object. For a more detailed description of what’s going on from a technical perspective, check out the Research Blog’s post here.
But the net result looks similar to what the Pixel 2 can do, allowing users to insert polygonal chickens, robots, and dinosaurs into scenes (sadly, the branded experiences from the Pixel 2 aren’t available). Motion Stills also lets users take GIFs and videos with the stickers inserted, making it easy to share online.
The update is available now for Android users on any recent device with a gyroscope.