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Google Maps Testing a New Feature For Selected Users

Tech giants like Apple, Facebook, Google, North, Vuzix and others have all been working on, or are selling their own AR glasses, meaning that Google's new feature could eventually make its way into your line of sight

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Google is letting some of its select users test the augmented reality (AR) navigation feature for Google Maps — a feature that would provide people with directions from the phone’s camera in real time.

According to a report by The Verge, David Pierce from The Wall Street Journal got hands-on experience of the AR navigation feature.

“While it isn’t likely to be your primary turn-by-turn option, it’s a huge step in the right direction for Google Maps,” Pierce said.

He described how the feature worked — the app picks up a person’s location via Global Positioning System (GPS), and then uses Street View data to narrow it down to the exact location. Once his location was pinned down, it displayed big arrows and directions in his screen, the report said on Saturday.

The company showed this upcoming AR feature at its annual developer conference Google I/O in 2018.

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Google is testing video reviews as part of its ‘Local Guides programme. (Representative image) Pixabay

Google has reportedly been experimenting with the user interface, finding that users will follow a line on the ground too closely, and that an animated guide will keep them glued to the screen.

Pierce notes that the interface he previewed could change, and that Google isn’t saying when the feature will roll out to users, just that it’ll be available to “a few Local Guides” soon, and “will come to everyone only when the company is satisfied that it’s ready.”

Also Read- Google Feels The Need of Common Rules Globally For Tech Regulation

According to Pierce, there are a couple of takeaways from this. The first is that a big advantage of the feature is that it provides people with very specific location data, and that it’s a feature that isn’t likely to remain on phones, but on AR-capable glasses.

Tech giants like Apple, Facebook, Google, North, Vuzix and others have all been working on, or are selling their own AR glasses, meaning that Google’s new feature could eventually make its way into your line of sight, the report added. (IANS)

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New Zealand Firms to Pull Ads From Facebook, Google

Spark's move was part of an international response, which also saw Disney and Nestle pull ads from the site

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The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

A collective of some of New Zealand’s biggest companies is set to pull ads from Facebook and Google in the wake of the March 15 Christchurch mosques shootings in which the gunman live-streamed his massacre of 50 people.

Using a GoPro camera, the gunman broadcast extremely graphic footage of him shooting people at the Al Noor Mosque via Facebook Live. The livestream was available to watch on social media for hours after the attack.

Besides being livestreamed on Facebook, the video, lasting 17 minutes, was shared repeatedly on YouTube and Twitter, before being removed by the social media giant.

The New Zealand Herald said on Monday that the collective, including ASB Bank, Lotto NZ, Burger King, Spark, has come together to take a stand against the harm caused by unmoderated content on the Internet.

At this stage, it is still unclear how extensive the pull-back will be or for how long the companies are likely to pull their digital ads.

Other brands have also acted independently, The New Zealand Herald reported.

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Facebook: The platform allows for different types of content, which makes it ideal for diverse, interactive and entertaining content.

Kiwibank suspended all digital advertising on March 15 shortly after the carnage took place at the Al Noor mosque and the Linwood Avenue Masjid that also left over 40 others injured.

On Sunday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that she intended to ask Facebook how the gunman was able to livestream the massacre.

Facebook has on its part said that as many as 1.5 million videos of the attack were removed from its platform in the first 24 hours.

Also Read- Here’s How Motorola Lost its Grip in India

This is not the first time New Zealand companies have pulled ads from these platforms.

Earlier this month, telecom company Spark pulled all its advertising from YouTube over concerns about paedophilic content.

Spark’s move was part of an international response, which also saw Disney and Nestle pull ads from the site. (IANS)