Google Inc. announced open beta test of the Google Glass. The device is an electronic eyewear allowing the user to receive via a special display information about the objects with which they are in visual contact. It is designed to perform three functions: augmented reality, mobile communication and Internet, video diary.
It is already available in the US for 1,500 dollars. The product’s development is not finished yet, the manufacturer warns. Those brave people who would dare buy it now will get only an early version called Explorers, while Google reports that work continues on both its hardware and software.
Google unveiled another new development, called the Google car, in California on May 13. This is the first car that needs no human intervention at all to move around. It is supported by the Google Street View service, video cameras and a LIDAR sensor, which is installed on the roof. The car is also controlled by radars installed in the front of the car and a sensor connected to one of the rear wheels which helps to determine the position of vehicle on the map. The Google car has been made in four models: Toyota Prius, Lexus RX460h, Lexus RX450h crossover, and Audi. Currently, the car is stored in the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. The new product’s release date has not yet been announced by the company.
Hopefully, by the time it finally goes on sale, the mapmaking community will enable its use for safe travel around Ukraine. A lot of places in Ukraine are still Terra Incognita for the Google Street View service. It is good, though, that tourist destinations, at least, are gradually going online. In particular, the largest Ukrainian ski resort in Bukovel has recently appeared on the Google Maps.
Bukovel was seen only on satellite pictures before, but its slopes, lifts, hotels, restaurants, street names, shops and other local attractions have recently appeared on the Google Street View. In addition, enthusiasts created a few dozen of photo spheres for the resort, allowing Internet users around the world to take a virtual tour of the village.
The project was a collaboration of Ukraine’s mapmaking community and Bukovel leadership which was realized with the support of Google’s Ukrainian team. Mapmakers took a few days to go around the village and mark on maps all the basic facilities of the resort. Now, Internet users around the world can easily plan their trips to Bukovel or take a walk in the scenic mountains staying at their laptop screens or using their mobile phones! In addition, the company stresses, everyone can become a ‘mapmaker’ by fixing errors, putting a new object on the map, correcting a street’s bend, etc., using the Google Map Maker application.