Ronnie05's Blog

Google Android Eclair gets Google maps navigation

googlemaps-logo

I first used a navigation based software more than 2 years back. It was the voice based navigation system NAVTEQ on the Nokia E90 communicator. The maps were still evolving and the ancillary services have come a long way since.

Google today announced upgraded maps and navigation for mobile: Google Maps Navigation (Beta) for Android 2.0 devices. It features 3D views, turn-by-turn voice guidance and automatic rerouting. The enhanced Google maps features the following upgrades:

  1. Google Maps Navigation, automatically updates maps and business listings from Google Maps eliminating the need to buy maps or update the software.
  2. Search function is enabled on the software (Like Google on the internet)
  3. Search by voice is a very potent feature which takes makes the work of typing inputs light and this is one of the biggest advantages of the Google Maps Navigation.
  4. Live traffic view is another killer feature in the Google Maps Navigation.  A Traffic indicator light in the corner of the screen glows green, yellow or red, depending on the current traffic conditions along the route. For all those hassled by long traffic stoppage times, this feature is a HUGE utility.
  5. Google Maps Navigation searches along the route to give ancillary points of interest e.g restaurants, gas stations etc.
  6. Google Maps Navigation uses the same satellite imagery as Google Maps on the desktop….
  7. …and yet can zoom into the next turn looks like. Double-tapping the map to zoom into Street View, shows the turn as one would see it, with the route overlaid.

Video Demo

Android OS update:Eclair (OS 2.0)

Eclair follows Donut and Cupcake as Android roles on

Android

Google today announced the release of Android 2.0, the next iteration of Android OS. Android 2.0 is codenamed Eclair!

Android 2.0 brings new developer APIs for sync, Bluetooth and adds  multiple accounts support, a search functionality within SMS, an improved virtual keyboard and a much sought after camera menu enhancements. The camera menu now includes options like scene mode, digital zoom, color effects, white balance and macro focus. Eclair also brings with it a refreshed browser UI as well as support for HTML5. Users can now double tap the browser for zooming in.

Motorola’s Droid which is set for a November 6th release will most probably be the first device to use this OS. Catch the video demo 0f the Android 2.0 Eclair on the following link.

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Google Audio Indexing: Empowering Media Democratization

Posted in Internet and Search by Manas Ganguly on October 28, 2009

YouTube is associated with the democratization of media. In real terms it is the Google in Web Media. However, there are times and moments when a user would like to search for a particular reference in a speech and GAUDI is Google’s search solution to enable search for words on media files. The excitement never stops at Google it seems.

Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. As more video content is being created everyday, Google Audio Indexing (Gaudi) is a new technology from Google that allows users to better search and watch videos from various YouTube channels. It uses speech technology to find spoken words inside videos and lets the user jump to the right portion of the video where these words are spoken. Google Audio Indexing thus makes it easier for people to find and consume spoken content from videos on the Web.

Google Audio Indexing is a showcase for speech technology. Political videos and election materials are a special case of broadcast news content, a domain that has received a lot of academic and industry attention and is known to perform well. By making the technology available to a wide audience, Google offers a useful service to the consumers of video and media feeds.

 Gaudi

Google already has Google Elections Video Search gadget which is more US centric information and is very instrumental in culling information that describes the views, actions and platforms of the two presidential candidates. Both, Google Audio and Google Elections Video Search gadget use the exact same underlying technology. While, the scope of the Google Elections Video Search gadget is restricted to the US election. The aim of Google Audio Indexing on Google Labs is broader and the US election is just a first step. Thus Google Elections Video Search is an experiment platform where Google can learn what features make the best user experience for people looking for spoken content on the Web. To put it in context, Elections Video Search is a precursor to GAUDI.

Google Audio Indexing uses speech technology to transform spoken words into text and leverages the Google indexing technology to return the best results to the user. The returned videos are ranked based — among other things — on the spoken content, the metadata, the freshness. The gadget periodically crawls the YouTube political channels for new content. As soon as a new video is uploaded to YouTube, it is processed by the system and made available in the GAUDI index for people to search.

Google Audio Indexing searches only those videos uploaded on the YouTube political channels. If a video is on the YouTube political channels, it will be in the index. Candidates control the video content released to the public using Google Audio Indexing technology by controlling the content they upload to YouTube channels. That is a limited scope currently, but it wont be long before Google democratizes the use over the whole YouTube Gamut!

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