Microsoft Shows Off Bing Maps With Augmented Reality

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News Posted: Sun, Feb 14 2010 2:48 PM
Mapping and routing are two technologies that have become huge over the past few years, and they're only getting bigger. As more and more of the world becomes digitized for mobile consumption, companies are looking for more ways to interact with roads, geography, directions and reality of the live world itself. Google has already shown its innovation arm with Google Earth and Street View, and now Microsoft is hoping to steal some of that thunder with a showcase at the TED 2010 Conference in California.



Blaise Aguera y Arcas is an architect at Microsoft Live Labs, and he has worked on Seadragon, Photosynth and of course, Bing Maps. At the show, he demonstrated a new look at Bing Maps, which was ultra-fluid and demonstrated a whole new way of looking at things. He showed Seattle (near Microsoft's campus) as an example, and as he zoomed in, the maps automatically switched to an astounding 3D view of buildings and roadways. The new take was deemed to be "Sim City-like."



In a way, it's a lot like Google's Street View, but it goes a step further. The maps even displayed the inside of Pike's Place Market, and augmented reality  was made live for the demo from the online map. It's hard to do it justice in mere words; give the video below a look and prepare to be amazed.


As Blaise explained, Bing Maps pulled in the street-view Bing map and then overlaid an augmented version of it, based on a voice and video chat conversation he was having with his colleagues who were on location, otherwise known as "telepresence" but virtually, or perhaps literally, anywhere in the world.  Talk about absolutely and utterly amazing technology; man has no limits.  It's clear to see this and companies like Microsoft are pushing the envelope quite literally, of the human existence.
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AjayD replied on Sun, Feb 14 2010 8:08 PM

Very impressive. I look forward to seeing this come to fruition once Microsoft has sent out enough teams of camera equipped vehicles and backpackers. Creating that Sim City-like view for all the major cities is going to be a lot of work though. I can't wait until we see car navigation systems with this technology. Ford would seem the most likely candidate considering their ongoing relationship with Microsoft via Sync.

Be afraid Google Maps, be very afraid.

 

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3vi1 replied on Sun, Feb 14 2010 8:40 PM

In order to use the "new" Bing maps, you have to be running Microsoft Windows - they integrated it by making it dependent on the newest version of SilverLight (rather than use something non-proprietary and standard, like HTML5). This will ensure that it only works on devices that license Windows Mobile.

I'll stick with Google - they don't try to artificially tie other for-pay products to their web services.  10 will get you 20 that they have some surprise updates coming anyway.  ;)

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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rapid1 replied on Sun, Feb 14 2010 11:50 PM

Yeah 3vi1 that's very true, but much like I had said on the article about there update screw up. You see you use Linux, I use both (actually had 3 versions of windows, and 2 Linux cooking at one time back to 1 1 now), when I get further into programming for school Linux will probably be my main though.

Either way for the earlier comment, most users today to a very large percentage are Windows users, they are therefore comfortable with that OS only. That percentage is huge compare to all the other they say 5-6% are Apple and Leopard, 1-4% are all other OS's combined, the rest are Windows which in the end is averages at 70% (this math makes no sense I know, but that is what they say) of consumer computer users are Windows bound.

As far as it goes the iPhone and everything may have percentages in sales (as well as media recognition), however they say Blackberry/Win mobile still have the largest amount as well in phones at least in the US.

So M$ making this available will gain them market share or at least get some back.

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Saw this the other day, very cool mapping tech. Blaise's presentation on Seadragon given during Ted Talk 2007 is also worth a watch.

3vi1, if they limit Bing maps to Windows Mobile, Microsoft will only be damaging itself. As cool as this tech is, it needs to be unrestricted to become popular, or risk losing ground to other mapping sites.

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3vi1 replied on Mon, Feb 15 2010 8:43 AM

rapid1:

...So M$ making this available will gain them market share or at least get some back.

Good for them.  Bad for interoperability, standards, end users, and the world in general.

To explain:  I get tired of seeing Microsoft making the same play and getting cheered for it:  1) Walk into a market that has multiple innovators.  2)  Spend a few years building up a "free" Windows-only solution that is just good enough that people won't change their defaults.  3)  Strong-arm vendors to push their product and/or keep dumping money into development until five minutes after the competition runs out of money and goes under.  4) Abandon updating and improving their product now that everyone's locked in to the Microsoft APIs.

This is all horribly bad for progress in general, as those other companies would have continued to grow their specialized solutions.  This is also why Microsoft is now resorting to FUD of patent infringement to scare businesses away from free open-source solutions; It's hard to bankrupt a freely developed community effort.

>> they are therefore comfortable with that OS only.

I think 99%+ of users would be perfectly comfortable if they ever actually tried any other OS - All they need to do is spend 5 seconds looking for the icon for the web-browser.

I'd go so far as to bet that more than half the non-technical people in the world don't even know that you can get any other OS for a PC, and shy from OSX because they don't want to buy new hardware.  I've seen cases where, thanks to Microsoft's monopoly and FUD, *teachers* didn't know that there are free and legal alternative to Windows.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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rapid1 replied on Mon, Feb 15 2010 4:38 PM

Oh that is all definitely true 3vi1, but the truth is any company who owns more than 50% of any market such as M$ does they are pretty close to totally owning the market.

The only way for anyone to beat them is if the government steps in like the BELL/AT&T monopoly case, or someone releases something better in all ways. Then the market will be or migrate to that product and therefore companies use as a general thing. The easiest way to point this out is Mozilla. Mozilla started out on the Netscape platform from what I remember, and expanded it to where it is now.

I see your points and they are all very valid except for one thing. They basically do nothing new and in most ways they just emulate Windows in one way or another. The emulation does nothing but make the emulated platform stronger.

The other major advantage that Microsoft has and continues to propagate as well as strengthen is almost anything works with the OS. The only reason it does not work is if the manufacturer consciously make it so. So I cannot install Leopard on a general PC even though they use the same hardware generally.

I also agree with your statement on the fact that most users don't even know anything else exists. That is because like the point's I already made Windows works with the largest amount of hardware and does it by default. The other people who make OS platforms either emulate windows or do there best to do so. The problem with it and the reason it does not do better in the market or become more better known is that same reason.

So when someone creates and releases something better such as Mozilla/Firefox versus IE, then the market will change. Until then nothing will happen and nothing will change besides the way M$ directs the market. In many ways I find it negative, but would we be where we are today technologically speaking if Windows did not exist. I doubt it!

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Inspector replied on Mon, Feb 15 2010 6:28 PM

LMFAO flicker wins right there xD

The part with the hobo and the sign xD

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3vi1 replied on Mon, Feb 15 2010 7:04 PM

>> I see your points and they are all very valid except for one thing. They basically do nothing new and in most ways they just emulate Windows in one way or another.

>>... but would we be where we are today technologically speaking if Windows did not exist.

This is exactly what I'm talking about.  People don't remember what it was really like back in the early days of windowing.  Microsoft is not an innovator, they've purchased (DOS for $50k) or copied every successful product they've ever had.

  • VisiOn (GUI for MSDOS) - 1982
  • MacOS, released January 24th, 1984
  • X Windows for Unix, 1984
  • Atari ST (with TOS desktop), released January 1985
  • Digital Research GEM (GUI desktop for DOS and CP/M), February 1985
  • AmigaDOS, released July, 1985 (it's arguable that Windows didn't catch up to this one until Windows NT).
  • DesqView (windowing GUI for MSDOS), released July, 1985
  • Windows 1.0, released Nov. 20, 1985

Microsoft maimed all the competition with anti-trust business tactics, not tech.  I guarantee all you'll see in Windows 8 are more copied KDE/Gnome/OSX features like the window tabbing feature I was showing in the forum the other day.

>> The other major advantage that Microsoft has and continues to propagate as well as strengthen is almost anything works with the OS. The only reason it does not work is if the manufacturer consciously make it so.

Respectuflly, I must say you've got that backwards:  The only reason everything "just works" for Windows is because that is the platform vendors have to develop for, since MS has managed to use nothing but business tactics to bankrupt anyone that's competing with them.  The creators of the programs are to thank for Windows compatibility, not MS or Windows itself.

>> The only way for anyone to beat them is if the government steps in like the BELL/AT&T monopoly case,

They did.  Microsoft appealed.  They were still found guilty, but the new Justice Department honchos, installed by the guy MS spent millions electing, decided that remediations should be reduced from break-up to slap on the wrist.

Microsoft's not entering these new markets because they want to be in them.  They're entering in them because they see people creating solutions that don't necessitate that the end users own a Windows license of some sort; Microsoft only competes in these free markets in order to keep you locked into Windows APIs so that no real competition can ever get a foothold.  I'm not the only one pointing this out either - Here's a quote from the WSJ, six years back:

The Web browser is probably the most frequently used category of software in the world. But in recent years, the browser most people rely on—Microsoft’s Internet Explorer—has been stagnant, offering very few new features.

This is a common pattern with Microsoft. The company is aggressive about improving its software when it first enters a market. But once it crushes its
competitors and establishes an effective monopoly, as it has in Web browsers, Microsoft seems to switch off significant innovation.

-- Walter S. Mossberg, Wall St. Journal, Jan 8 2004.

They did the same thing with the desktop.  How much did it change in the six years from Win95 to WinXP?  But then suddenly compositing desktop managers like Compiz start appearing for Linux and other platforms... and almost one year later Vista gets a makeover for compositing.

That's why I say we would be so much further ahead without a company like Microsoft abusing their position to constantly absorb or bankrupt anyone they perceive as future competition.  Think about this:  If MS had manage to succeed when they tried to acquire Google before the IPO in 2003, do you think we'd be further ahead, for further behind?  Think MS really would have allowed them to try things like Android, Chrome, ChromeOS, etc?  Would they allow Google Earth when they already had Microsoft Virtual Earth?  Oh wait... Google's came out the previous year.... another example of MS trailing behind and copying successful ideas.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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