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July 26, 2015

Video: Google Maps Gets Annoyed

Kids on long trips love to ask the question, “are we there yet?”

It seems that the Google Maps developers had a touch of humor when building in the voice commands feature. In the below video, you see that if you ask “are we there yet?” once, Maps tells you how long it will be until you arrive at your destination. Ask it again, it will say, “no.” Ask it a couple more times, and it says, “If you ask me again, we won’t stop for ice cream.”

This is not the first instance of “easter eggs” in current mobile technology. Apple’s Siri has several, including one where she will explain that you cannot divide zero by zero rather offensively, saying:

Imagine that [...]

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December 17, 2014

Smartphone Barometric Pressure Sensors: How Google Maps Could Someday Include Weather

A recent ACM article delves into the future promise of barometric pressure sensors. In the future, we will see weather forecasts improved by technology the same way that traffic forecasts have. Google Maps uses most smartphones’ self-provided GPS location and timestamp to estimate travel speed. While individual data points may be unreliable, the aggregated data provides us with what we need to develop a thorough understanding of traffic behavior. In the same way, the barometric pressure data from your phone could someday help detect tornadoes or other dangerous weather patterns. Smartphones that already have a barometric pressure sensor include the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the [...]

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