Google Patents 'Street View' Walking Sticks
Soon, hikers might be helping map the world as they walk
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2013 12:33 PM CDT
Google already uses these backpack-like devices to collect images where cars can't go. Walking sticks are apparently next.   (AP Photo/Google)

(Newser) – First, there were Google Street View cars. But cars can't go everywhere, so next came Google's Trekker, a big contraption worn like a backpack that snaps photos off the beaten path. What's next? Think smaller. GeekWire reports that the company just scored a new patent: "It’s a walking stick with embedded cameras and location sensors, and a switch at the bottom that causes the device to snap pictures whenever the stick hits the ground." It can also be applied to canes, crutches, and things like trekking poles.

No word on when the invention might go into production/be put to wide use. While plenty of privacy-loving hikers might hope "never," Ray Willington at Hot Hardware has a different take. If Google is "investing production resources on Glass, surely it could do the same here," he writes. "Imagine being able to map out places of thousands of walkers at once; suddenly, the global mapping task would seem a lot less daunting."

View 1 more image
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Google Patents 'Street View' Walking Sticks is...
2%
25%
4%
54%
7%
9%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 5 comments
Scaramouche
Jun 19, 2013 2:14 PM CDT
This technology is going to provide evidence in a court case within a year of its deployment.
????
Jun 19, 2013 12:40 PM CDT
Google Pimps!
carbonated_turtle
Jun 19, 2013 12:35 PM CDT
I can't count the number of times I've been taking a streetview tour somewhere in the world and come to a dead end that I felt could've kept going had the Google car been a person. I can't wait to see how this works out.