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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Google Debuts Street View Support Program For 360 Cameras

Google has announced that ut’s partnering with a number of 360-degree camera manufacturers to implement technology into some of their upcoming cameras that will help them contribute imagery to the Street View project. Anybody with a smartphone and a camera app with a 360-degree panorama mode can technically contribute imagery to Street View, as can any owner of a 360 camera, but the cameras made with Google’s help will fall into one of four categories, all of which boast special features that add a little something extra to the imagery produced, or make it easier to get imagery ready for being published on Street View. Some of the supported hardware is able to publish content on Street View through a dedicated mobile app, some other cameras were made to be used on a vehicle, and some come with special editing tools.

The ones that can publish from a mobile app are known as “Street View mobile ready.” These cameras are capable of linking with a smartphone and using it to touch up and publish imagery. The list of compatible cameras includes pieces from Giroptic, NCTech Ltd., 360Fly, and KenXen. Furthermore, “Street View auto ready” cameras let you turn your car into a Street View-enabled vehicle and are made by Sphericam, ZCAM, Insta360, and NCTech Ltd. “Street View VR ready” devices capture geometry and characteristics of scenery to make it easier to use in VR and AR software like Google Earth VR. These cameras come from Matterport, InsideMaps, and NCTech Ltd. The final category, “Street View workflow ready,” contains not only cameras that bundle in publishing software, but software approved by Google. Because of that, this list of manufacturers is a bit longer, but it’s the only one that doesn’t include NCTech Ltd. The names here are Samsung, GoPro, iGuide, GoThru, Garden Gnome, HumanEyes Tech, and Panoskin/LCP360.

Google will be holding a Street View Summit in Tokyo later this week where some of the aforementioned partners will be unveiling their Google-approved hardware and software. The listed tools are meant for just about anybody, empowering everyday users to help people get immersed in the spaces that they interact with every day. Essentially, it’s just another spin on the same functions that Google’s tools had for a long time; passing on information, and helping people explore new worlds.

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