Google Expeditions App Featuring Virtual Tours Now Open to All

Google Expeditions App Featuring Virtual Tours Now Open to All

Google on Thursday rolled out its Expeditions app with a new solo mode for all users.

“Using this mode, they can explore over 600 different tours on their own. All that users need to do is download the Expeditions app (available on both Android and iOS), drop their phone into Google Cardboard and get ready for an adventure!” the company said in a statement.

For the past two years, the app was available only for teachers as a tool to extend learning inside the classroom, helping students to gain exposure to new career paths and learn about various social impact initiatives happening around the globe.

With the new update, users can either take these tours as an explorer or a guide.

As an ‘Explorer’, users can experience the tour on their own, where they can view more detailed information on various points of interest within the experience.

The ‘Guide Mode’ lets teachers preview a tour before embarking with their students on a virtual journey.

Expeditions also works on Daydream View VR headset-ready phones for more immersive and engaging experience.

[“source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Google Arts and Culture Team Launches Virtual Exhibition to Showcase 3,000 Years of Fashion

Google Arts and Culture Team Launches Virtual Exhibition to Showcase 3,000 Years of Fashion

HIGHLIGHTS
Project We wear culture is in collaboration with 183 cultural institutes
The project will showcase 3,000 years of the world’s fashion and style
It can be accessed via website & Google Arts and Culture app
Technology giant Google’s Arts and Culture arm on Thursday launched a new virtual exhibition project that will showcase 3,000 years of the world’s fashion and style, the company said in a statement.

The project ‘We wear culture’ is in collaboration with 183 renowned cultural institutions from around the world, including India, and will let people explore the history of clothes dating as early as 3,000 years ago from the ancient Silk Road, to the courtly fashion of Versailles, to the unmatched elegance of the Indian saree.

“We invite everyone to browse the exhibition on their phones or laptops and learn about the stories behind what you wear,” said Director of Google Arts and Culture Amit Sood in a statement.

“You might be surprised to find out that your saree, jeans or the black dress in your wardrobe have a century-old story. What you wear is true culture and more often than not a piece of art,” Sood added.
The online project includes collections from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) and varied weaves from across India, from Gharchola to Patola to Temple to Ikat sarees, as it traces the story and importance of Indian textiles from ancient sculptures, the company said.

It also showcases designs from north-eastern India including the weaves of tribes such as the Nagas, Meitis and the traditional attire from Meghalaya called ‘Dhara’ or ‘Nara’ worn by the Khasi women.

The project also includes icons and trendsetters like Alexander McQueen, Cristobal Balenciaga, Audrey Hepburn, Christian Dior, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Yves Saint Laurent, Manolo Blahnik, Gianni Versace, Oscar de la Renta, Pierre Balmain, Miyake Issey among others.

Fashion and textiles enthusiasts can explore over 400 online exhibitions and stories sharing a total of 50,000 photos, videos and other documents on world fashion, on the project’s website and through the Google Arts and Culture app on iOS and Android.

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Tags: Google, Google We Wear Culture, Internet, Apps

[“Source-ndtv”]

Who are the virtual reality and augmented reality startups in the UK? Meet 28 of the country’s best

AR and VR startups: Blippar

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) revenues are set to rocket from £4.2 billion in 2016 to more than £130 billion in 2020 according to research from the International Data Corporation.

The UK plays home to a number of emerging players in the industry hoping to cash in on the boom. A recent report by GrowthEnabler estimated that of more than 800 companies working in the segment worldwide, more than 150 are based in the Britain.

Here’s our pick of the ones to watch out for.

[Source:- Techworld]

 

Amazon Alexa Already Winning Virtual Assistant Showdown

Amazon’s Alexa, the personal in-home assistant, has been ranked as the best digital virtual assistant of 2016 by both industry experts and sales.

Amazon’s Alexa, the personal in-home assistant launched with the Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Echo, completely obliterated its competition in the smart home market last year, and is poised to make an even bigger impact in 2017.

Alexa Ranked Best Digital Virtual Assistant of 2016

Sitting atop CNET’s list for the best smart home devices for 2016 was Amazon’s Echo, edging out competitors like Nest, Phillips, and other top producers. Alexa even took home the top-spot at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, leading major tech website Wired to run the headline: “Alexa Just Conquered CES. The World Is Next.” Alexa’s praise isn’t solely relegated to techies and those within the industry, companies like Ford and LG unveiled new products with Alexa integration last year.

While the market for smart home devices are still comparatively smaller than the one for smartphones, Amazon has quickly asserted itself as the dominant player. Google, Microsoft, and Apple are coming out with their own voice-activated speaker technologies, but Amazon remains the company to beat.

Experts say that Amazon was able to maneuver itself into the top spot by not overselling its Alexa, as Apple repeatedly did with Siri, Business Insider reports. Instead of selling the Echo as a device that was more than just a speaker, Amazon marketed the Echo as a speaker with a few smart voice commands built in. Overtime, as Siri let consumers down and positive press spread about Amazon’s alternative, the online retailer carefully added new sets of capabilities to Alexa. Today, Alexa boasts thousands of commands that allow it to: order its owner an Uber, order products from Amazon.com, or even read the day’s news.

Amazon’s Echo is the now the central device in the market for smart home technology. It has the capacity to interact with nearly every aspect of a user’s home, including: lights, thermostats, and door locks.

The central part of Echo that helps to make Amazon more successful is that it is built to make it easier for the consumer to give more of their money to Amazon. From playing music to making a purchase, the device defaults to Amazon.com. Essentially, the interface always insures that the user is connecting with Amazon, especially when spending money.

Looking at Amazon’s holiday sales of its smart home devices, it is easy to see that consumers are jiving with Amazon’s Alexa.

The company had its best holiday sales season this past Christmas. The firm said it outpaced sales goals for its flagship Amazon Echo family this December, with sales up over nine times what they were compared to last year’s holiday season.  The online vendor sold millions of Alexa devices worldwide. Amazon Fire TV Stick and Fire tablet were also top-sellers this year.

Echo and Echo Dot were the best-selling products across Amazon this year, and we’re thrilled that millions of new customers will be introduced to Alexa as a result,” CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon, Jeff Wilke said in a Tuesday press release. “We couldn’t have made this holiday season possible for customers without the dedication and hard work of our customer service, transportation, and fulfillment associates along with our carrier partners.”

The online vendor was so successful in selling its Amazon Echo this holiday season, that it had to halt shipping of the product because it ran out of inventory.

As sales of Alexa devices are on the rise, the clock is ticking for Amazon’s competitors to find a viable option to compete.

Amazon Alexa Photo via Shutterstock

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