Google's new AR shopping features help you avoid buying the wrong product

The Google logo on the Google Pixel 7's display
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google has made significant improvements to AR shopping in Search that will help you find the right products.
  • These features enable you to look for a foundation shade that matches your skin tone, as well as virtually try on shoes from your favorite brands before purchasing them.
  • Google is also expanding its multisearch feature to include food-related queries.

Google continues to change the way you shop online with new features that help you find the right product you're looking for without having to visit a store due to prior commitments, all while getting that physical store-like experience.

Soon, you'll be able to shop for beauty products, such as a foundation shade that perfectly suits your skin tone. Using augmented reality, Google will show how a foundation looks like on over a hundred models. This feature relies on a catalog of 148 models representing diverse skin tones, ages, genders, face shapes, ethnicities, and skin types. Google Search results for these queries are powered by the Monk Skin Tone Scale system that launched in May to promote color equity. 

This option helps you choose the model with the same skin tone as you and decide which item fits your needs before buying it. You can also compare before and after shots.

Furthermore, Google now lets you try on shoes virtually using AR and in 3D. At launch, a few brands support the new feature, including Saucony, VANS, and Merrell, with more expected to follow suit as long as they have 3D assets for their products.

When shopping for shoes using Search, you just need to type a few keywords that briefly describe what you're looking for. After settling on a specific item and tapping it, Search will display the product in 3D. Alternatively, you can tap the “View in my space" button with a Lens icon to view the product as if it were in your room within an arm's length away.

"Starting today, you can spin, zoom and see the shoes in your space as you decide if the color, laces, tread or sole fit your style," Google announced in a blog post (opens in new tab).

These are the latest improvements to Google's shopping capabilities in Search after previously introducing a 3D shopping feature and adding dynamic filters to the shopping experience. More importantly, it's a direct take on Amazon's AR shopping tool that works in the same manner.

Google has also begun to roll out (opens in new tab) an image search feature it unveiled earlier this year, allowing you to find objects using a mix of text and images. The multisearch feature now expands to food-related queries, making it easier to find the dish you're craving. You only need to snap a photo or screenshot of that food using the Lens feature in the Google app, and append your search with "near me." Google will then display a list of local restaurants that serve that food near you. This Search feature is available starting today for English queries in the United States.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.