Some days you wake up and find that there’s so much new technology around that it feels like you’ve been sleeping for a month. Today was one of these days where both Google and Microsoft have something new to show. But first, a titbit from Mitel tech support. Apparently, there’s been some issues getting their products working on Vista (who hasn’t?), and here’s a thread explaining what works and what doesn’t.
Anyway, Neil sent me a link to Streetside View this morning. This turns their 2D maps into a fully immersive street view (that’s a real photo for you and me). You can move around the street from one point to another and what’s even more amazing, you have a 360 degree view of every point. Now that’s smart technology! Reading a bit around the subject, I found that they are working with Immersive Media who use a special camera with 11 lenses capable of taking video while they drive through the streets. Each shot is geotagged and all Google is doing is correlating positions on their maps with the associated imagery Immersive Media have supplied. The end result works really, really well and is really compelling. You can now get travel directions from one place to another and actually “drive through” virtually looking for landmarks and visual cues to help you remember the route!
The other really cool thing I saw this morning is Microsoft’s foray into surface computing. I had blogged sometime back about a demo I had seen of multi-touch screens. It looked amazing, but still hadn’t made it to the mass market. Looks like Microsoft see this as the future of computing and are working really hard at it. I just can’t wait to have a tablet that works in this way! Maybe my next laptop? Who knows?