It’s still rare to see shared, long-lasting augmented reality — the experience tends to vanish the moment you close an app. Google is making it easier to come back, however. It’s widely releasing a new version of ARCore with persistent Cloud Anchors that let you come back to shared AR on Android and iOS. You can come back to virtual graffiti, explore an evolving natural landscape or follow a tour guide.
Lowe’s will even make it practical for shopping. It’s readying a Persistent View feature that will let you plan appliance and furniture purchases, coming back as often as needed. If you’re not sure how well a new oven will fit, you can return over and over until you’re ready to buy.
It’ll take a while before more of these enduring AR experiences arrive through apps. The timing isn’t great when many AR app makers are encouraging you to stay at home during the pandemic, but look at it this way: persistent AR could be more commonplace by the time it’s safer to share that experience with others.