Google’s new AR toys are fulfilling the childhood dream of digging a hole on the other side of the Earth


If you’ve ever wondered where you’d end up transporting directly to the other side of the Earth, Google now has a browser-based AR toy to help you find out. It calls the site Floom, and the experience is quite simple: you point your phone’s camera at the ground, tap the small tornado object, and it will show you a hole on the other side of the Earth. You can then open that location in Google Earth to have a look around.

It was a pleasure to test it out, and I have found that depending on where I am in my house (and how I have my phone at an angle) I am directly over the Middle East, New Zealand or Antarctica .

Oh, clumsy.

Floom is just one of those experiments Google announced yesterday who rely on WebXR, and they can create AR or VR experiences that work on web pagesThe others include a virtual measuring instrument and a tool that lets you visualize what social distance from six feet looks like in your current environmentGoogle also has an upcoming app that can turn your photo library into an AR gallery. At the moment Floom can only be used with Chrome on Android devices.

These WebXR experiments are the first experience I’ve had with the technology, and it’s pretty impressive for something running in a phone’s web browser. Google’s experiments have always been interesting, but this is the first one that allows me to fulfill a childhood dream: to dig a tunnel to the other side of the world. Now Google only has to add a visualization that makes it look like you’re flying through the core of the earth.