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An officer in Mountain View, California noticed a prototype vehicle travelling in a 35 mph zone at a speed of 24 mph resulting in traffic congestion. "As he approached the vehicle he realized that it was Google's self-driving car" said a post by the police department. The officer also contacted the operator to learn about the steps followed by the vehicle for choosing speed depending on roadways and make the operator vigilant about impeding traffic.


Google's self-driving car project gave response on the official Google+ page and clarified that they have put a limit to the maximum speed (i.e. 25 mph) for safety reasons. The company said most of these stops occur owing to growing curiosity of people and their desire to get a closer look. They want people to perceive the car as friendly and approachable, rather than intimidating by making them zoom scarily through neighbourhood streets. Google also said that their vehicles have driven 1.2 million miles for testing without getting a ticket. Well, that's quite an achievement and also human equivalent of 90 years of driving experience.


There is a huge market for these cars. According to a study done by IHS Automotive in January, it is expected that close to 250,000 self-driven cars would be sold each year globally by 2025.

 

 



Google has released a free Motion Stills app that allows any Android phone with a built-in gyroscope that runs Android 5.1 or higher access to the latest augmented reality technology. Google's latest app was built with editing videos and GIFS in mind. It allows the user to capture short videos and change them into stunning cinemagraphs or sweeping cinematic pans using their advanced rendering and stabilization technology. Now you can combine AR stickers and clips into movies or create looping GIFS that you can easily share with your friends.


Not Just For Pixel 2


Google Pixel 2 owners have already been enjoying adding a host of fun AR stickers, including R2-D2 and Stranger Things characters, into the real world using the device's built-in ARCore technology. Pixel 2 owners with the Android Oreo 8.1 update received early access to Google's library of AR stickers since December last year.

This is no longer an exclusive club of AR aficionados as Google's Motion Still app is opening the market by making it easier to access. The latest version of the Motion Stills app brings all the fun of these AR stickers to a decent cross section of Android devices, making it easy for anyone to insert 3D objects into the surroundings before recording.


Motion Still Features


With Motion Still, you can:


        Use the AR mode to add fun characters to your surroundings.

        Create a short, 3 second clip with a simple tap of your screen.

        Condense up to a minute of video into a short clip by using the Fast Forward mode.

        Combine clips to create movies with a simple swipe to the right.

        Share your Motion Stills as short videos or cool looping GIF's directly with your friends.


The AR functionality is by far the most appealing feature of the app. Using this function you can stick an animated 3D object on any surface, even if it is moving. You can then record a video or GIF of the animated character's actions in the real world and share your Motion Stills clip directly with your friends. Sounds pretty awesome!


How Does the App Work?


You can get into the finer technical details of the app on Google Research's blog but the short explanation is that the app will track your phone's 3D rotation and location in relation to the ground or any flat surface that is in view. With this data, it is able to insert a 3D object into your real world surroundings and will scale up and down proportionally as you move closer or further from the AR character. This could be implemented in many ways and would also making playing at River Belle casino and any other gaming site so much more interactive.


Accessing AR Technology is Becoming Easier


Google is paving the way in terms of making the wonders of augmented reality technology more accessible to a wider audience. You'll probably have noticed that some of the best and most recent apps in the augmented reality category are confined almost exclusively to more advanced phones that run the latest operating software. So it's a great thing that Google is trying to grow the market by making these AR features available on any Android device that runs Android 5.1 or higher. Of course, the hope is that these new users will enjoy the taste of AR so much that they'll be more inclined to upgrade to the Pixel 2 which comes standard with the more advanced ARCore tech.


Google Play

 

Google's updated a lot of Android apps recently, so why not Web-based Play Store. The Google Play Store Web version is receiving a slight redesign. The roll-out seems to be gradual, but more and more people are reporting seeing the new Play Store on the Web.

 

While the changes are not over the top, it reminds me quite a lot of the old YouTube look. Instead of related apps being placed all the way at the bottom of the webpage, they have been moved to the right of the screen, allowing for quicker exploration throughout the store's offerings.

 

Other than the updated look for listing pages, all navigation appears to be untouched. And while it does not scream Material Design, it feels rather smooth and responsive.

 

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