Google’s Immersive Street View Offers a Glimpse into the Metaverse

Google's Immersive Street View Offers a Glimpse into the Metaverse

Steven Silverman, Senior Technical Program Manager and Imaging Solutions Manager at Google, walks us through past Google Street View camera devices. — AFP photo

Saturday, September 3, 2022 08:16 MYT

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 3 — 15 years after launch, Google Maps features let you explore faraway places as if you were standing there, giving a glimpse into the Metaverse heralded as the future of the internet can do.

There was no talk of online life moving to virtual worlds yet, but when Google co-founder Larry Page’s “outrageous” speculation prompted Street View, users of the company’s free navigation service began to see maps. You can see the image in the top position from your own point of view. there.

The Metaverse is currently a hot topic in the tech world. Companies, including Facebook’s parent company Meta, are investing in creating online spaces where people, represented by video game-like characters, work, play, shop, and more.

“Larry Page brought a video camera and stuck it out the car window,” Steven Silverman, Google’s senior technical program manager, told AFP. He said, showing me the garage that manufactures the cameras he was sent to capture. 360 degree images of him around the world.

“He was talking to some of his colleagues at the time and he was like, ‘This must do something.’ That’s how Street View started.” You can click to see what it would look like in that location, or look around.

Now, the internet giant is introducing an “immersive view” that fuses Street View imagery with artificial intelligence to create a “rich digital model of the world,” says Miriam Daniel, vice president of Google Maps Experiences. said in the post.

“You can experience what a neighborhood, landmark, restaurant, or popular venue is like. I got

“With a simple search, you can fly virtually over Westminster and get up close and personal with the stunning architecture of places like Big Ben.” to start unfolding the immersive view.

From the map to the metaverse

Street View imagery is collected in over 100 countries and territories, from Mount Fuji and Grand Canyon National Parks to the Great Barrier Reef.

“If you want to see how it goes down the slopes, you can see where that snowmobile went,” Silverman said as he headed over to the maroon snowmobile in his Silicon Valley City garage in Mountain View, California. I nodded.

“That trike was really fun because it circled Stonehenge. We put it on a barge and went down the Amazon River,” he said of another ride.

He pointed out a backpack camera system filmed for a zipline ride in the Amazon, providing a bird’s-eye view.

Carolina Milanesi, a technology analyst at Creative Strategies, said that spending years capturing the real world in 360-degree images is good for Google when it comes to a future where Internet life is moving to an immersive digital world. He said it was a sign.

“It absolutely affects the metaverse,” said Milanesi.

“The idea of ​​a digital twin of the world is definitely one aspect that Google will solve,” Silberman said. We believe that images are naturally well suited to depict the real world in a virtual setting.

“Ideally, we’re going to be there in that metaverse, in that world that we travel to,” Silverman said.

Many technology companies are rushing to invest in building the Metaverse.

Last year, Facebook changed the name of its parent company to Meta to underscore its vision for virtual reality and opened its Horizon World virtual reality platform to the public in North America.

Earlier this year, Japanese giant Sony and Lego’s Danish parent company invested US$2 billion (RM8.9 billion) in US gaming powerhouse Epic Games for an effort to join the Metaverse Vision for the Future of the Internet. announced an investment.

In the form of video games such as Epic’s hit Fortnite, the metaverse’s predecessors already existed in a minimalistic way, where people not only came together to play, but also interacted and attended events. increase.

What Page started as a “tremendous idea” is “important to our mapping efforts: it can lay the groundwork for more immersive and intuitive maps while displaying up-to-date information about the world.” Google Maps Product Director Ethan Russell said in a blog post: ― ETX Studio


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