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Posted by Victor Crew on

Google Feature Updates for Travelers

Google is already an essential part of many travelers’ tool kits. Here is an overview of the ways in which Google will be improving their travel tools in 2019.

Google Lens now lets a user scan a menu and get user images of the various dishes. It will also now read the menu to the user in either the original or into a translated language. Lens is also collaborating with museums to give users more information about the exhibits and displays they are viewing in real time.

Google Assistant voice interactive travel booking feature will come to web users. The service will now try to create a reservation itself using its own format and this will be facilitated by data in the Google user’s account.
Google’s advances in thing like automated captions for video, instant speech to text transcription and voice recognition for those with speech impairments have some folks thinking that Google’s demoed, but not released instant language translation technology might be coming closer to a reality.

Google Map updates will include things like position tracking via the camera. The recommendation engine will also be getting an update to suggest things like current and upcoming events as well.

For travelers who use Google heavily as a tool 2019 looks to be an exciting year.

Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

Google Parent Company Alphabet to Build Smart City in Toronto

The tech-savvy traveler will want to put this one on their bucket list; Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is officially building a futuristic mini-city along a 12-acre section of Toronto’s eastern waterfront. This is absolutely huge – for the city, for the country, and for the California-based tech giant in its quest to develop high-tech “smart cities” around the world.

As expected, Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs has partnered with Waterfront Toronto to develop a new waterfront community called “Quayside.”
This will mark the biggest project tackled by Sidewalk Labs to date, according to Reuters, and the citizens of Toronto are here for it.
Sidewalk Labs describes itself as a company that “imagines, designs, tests, and builds urban innovations to help cities meet their biggest challenges.”

The more than $1 billion development will see the creation of new public spaces, residential and commercial buildings, and advanced infrastructure for Toronto’s thriving tech industry.

“The district will become a place for tens of thousands of people to live, work, learn, and play,” reads a press release announcing the project in Toronto. “It will also reflect the cultural diversity and openness of Toronto, and help connect all Torontonians to waterfront beaches, parks, and communities.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, which was first to report on the rumored closure of this deal earlier in October, the smart city will span 3 million square feet in total.

That’s roughly the size of the Empire State Building.