Google adds visual, local flair to Search and Maps to draw youth


Its photorealistic "immersive view,” which will allow users to explore places like Oracle Park or the Eiffel Tower and look inside, as well as its "live view,” which will let people use their live camera to find what’s around them, like an ATM, will be available in the next few months. — Photo by CardMapr.nl on Unsplash

Alphabet Inc.’s Google introduced a series of changes to its search and maps products, aiming to appeal to a younger and more visually inclined generation of users.

Google Maps is adding a feature called "neighborhood vibe” – a way to select a neighborhood anywhere in the world and see popular spots nearby – that is scheduled to roll out globally in the coming months, the company said at its "Search On” event Wednesday. The search giant said the tool will use its artificial intelligence technology to pick out the neighborhood highlights, as well as photos, reviews and other contributions from its community of millions of Maps users globally. Within a year, maps will include the ability to explore content associated with a certain place from creators on the open web.

The company also gave an update on timing for features it announced at its I/O developer conference in May. Its photorealistic "immersive view,” which will allow users to explore places like Oracle Park or the Eiffel Tower and look inside, as well as its "live view,” which will let people use their live camera to find what’s around them, like an ATM, will be available in the next few months.

Also in the coming months, Google said it will add the ability to take a screenshot of a dish or an item and find it nearby. It will also let people use their phone’s camera to view translated text overlaid on the camera’s live view – of a menu in a different language – for example, while preserving the images underneath. – Bloomberg

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