Pixel 2 AR

With a couple of taps, the mighty Demogorgon can be summoned through your Pixel 2 to make a scary short film. When you're bored with this monster, all you have to do is call upon everyone's favorite frozen waffle-eating monster slayer to send it back to the Upside Down.

Sound like fun? This is the tip of a particularly impressive feature Google has built straight into the Pixel 2 camera app. It's called AR Stickers, and the whole goal is to make it ridiculously easy to have fun with augmented reality.

AR Stickers is a lot more than a licensing deal with Netflix so you can take photos with a Demogorgon, although it is also that. And you can expect other big names to follow, like Star Wars and the NBA and Saturday Night Live. It's an interactive special effects lab which really shows off just how deep into the AR game Google is right now. These "stickers" are entirely interactive creatures and people and props. Some will turn to look at you when you walk around them, and can even turn to face other humans in the camera shot to interact as though it's really there. Of course, they also interact with each other in all kinds of fun ways.

The most impressive part of all of this is how well these AR Stickers work.

Google's plans for AR Stickers include a constantly updating array of options. You'll see seasonal offerings when appropriate, pop culture tie-ins for things like Stranger Things, and some home grown content made by the folks at Google. One of these is called "FoodMoji" and it's not particularly difficult to guess what happens here. You'll be presented with options like a sleepy cup of coffee or an excited cheeseburger to interact with, enhancing your photos in new and cute ways.

The most impressive part of all of this is how well these AR Stickers work. Instead of a separate app with a separate plugin for the camera, Google baked this right in. That means you're already using the best possible camera app for your phone to make these AR creations come to life, and it means no additional installation or set up is required. This is seamless AR, and it's clear Google thinks a lot of people are going to be very excited about playing with these creations.

For now, AR Stickers are going to be exclusive to the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The feature also won't be available at launch, but will be a part of an update in the not-too-distant future. This app is part of Google's careful calibration of these phones for augmented reality, and so it's going to especially shine on these phones. There are no current plans to make this feature available elsewhere, but as the idea grows in popularity it's possible we'll see these AR Stickers show up everywhere.