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Google’s startup brings sightseeing app to Glass

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Posted August 22, 2013

Google Glass, a spectacle-like computing device drawing lots of attention, can serve as an automated tour guide with the help of a new application from a little-known startup hatched within the Internet’s most powerful company.

The app, called “Field Trip,” is being released Wednesday by Google-owned Niantic Labs for the 10,000 people currently testing an early model of Glass known as the Explorer edition. It becomes just the ninth app to be approved by Google Inc. for use on Glass during an experimental phase. The device’s mass market release is expected early next year.

Other Glass apps, or “Glassware,” are from The New York Times, Facebook, Twitter, Path, Evernote, CNN, Tumblr and Elle magazine. Google is working with developers to add even more apps to the line-up.

Once given permission, Field Trip tracks a user’s whereabouts so it can automatically deliver alerts and informational snapshots about nearby historical landmarks, tourist attractions, restaurants and other local merchants in neighborhoods all over the world. The descriptions of locations flagged by Field Trip are pulled from more than 130 online sources.

A version of Field Trip built for smartphones already has won a following. Field Trip apps for the iPhone and Android-powered phones have been installed on more than 500,000 devices since their release nearly a year ago.

Field Trip creator Niantic Labs is a Google division set up to operate as an independent startup. It is staffed by a few dozen people within a sprawling company that generates more than $50 billion in annual revenue.

Google CEO Larry Page approved the unorthodox arrangement as a way to retain John Hanke, who had been overseeing the team responsible for the company’s widely used mapping products.

 

Read more at: Phys.org

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