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For #MyFutureMe finalists, a geofilter shows dreams for the future

Category: Google | Nov 1, 2017

A better and brighter future. A world that accepts people for who they are. Voicing opinions for those who may not be able to.

These are just a few elements of a future envisioned by five special teenage girls. Along with Snap Inc., we created the #MyFutureMe contest to challenge teens to design a geofilter based on the future they imagine for themselves. More than 22,000 teens entered the contest, and five finalists—chosen by Snap—are attending TEDWomen in New Orleans this week, where they’ll hear from entrepreneurs, innovators, artists and activists. They’ll receive mentoring sessions from three Google engineers, and each girl will work with the Snap Design team to create her own, unique Snapchat Lens.

These finalists were chosen from 22,000 teens who entered the contest. Here are the geofilters they created, as well as their vision for the future they not only imagine, but are determined to create.

Anna Nesbitt
Pittsburgh, PA

My dream is to bring computer science and robotics to third world countries. I’m taking coding classes right now and I am a part of a FIRST Robotics Team (Girls of Steel 3504) to learn as much as I can about coding and robotics so I can apply it to my aspirations. I started and ran a robotics team at my elementary school last year in 8th grade for a group of third graders. I taught them basic engineering and CS concepts. I hope to expand my program to two more teams this year, focusing on inspiring girls!

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Zoe Lynch
South Orange, NJ

7.5 billion people make up the world’s population; each with their own unique set of skills and talents. My vision for the future is one where innovation is accessible to all. As a multiracial girl, I believe it’s important for everyone to be included. Whether it’s tutoring math, volunteering, creating problem-solving applications, or doing something as simple as spreading positivity; I am doing as much as I can to make my vision for the future a reality. Together the possibilities are endless. 7.5 billion people—that’ s a lot of brainpower!

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Aishwarya Rane
Diamond Bar, CA

My vision for the future is to have greater gender, racial, and social equality and increase representation for minorities. I hope to develop interpersonal skills as well as public speaking skills. I believe these skills will allow me to voice my opinions for those who may not be able to. I am a part of Girl Up, a campaign by the UN to empower girls around the world, and Society of Women Engineers at my high school. I actively work to bring awareness about contemporary issues (i.e., human trafficking) and increase female representation in STEM.

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Maria Wangamez
San Francisco, CA

An educated world. A world that accepts people for who they are. A world without barriers to education, whether those be financial, geographical, or social. I want to develop a comprehensive education system that can be instituted across the globe; one that is not standardized, but can be changed and suited to varying levels of different types of intelligence (mathematical, scientific, linguistic, artistic, athletic…). To accomplish this, I will start a company, and gather creative, forward-thinking people around me; ones with unique and fantastic skills in coding, educating, animating, advertising and calculating. Together, we will educate the world.

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Sasha Williams
Danville, CA

The future I envision is a better and brighter one. A future where everyone is equal, and confident in who they are, and not judged or mistreated for that. I am currently trying to make this possible through my skill set around gaming and coding. I advocate for young African American girls and inspire them to become creators of their own future, through technology. I have also made a social justice video game about Black History, that won me a trip to the White House! My future me wants to make a difference. I’m kind of a big deal.

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From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/sKxoFtQXhWs/

The Google Assistant on phones, now in Spanish and Italian

Category: Google | Nov 1, 2017

The Google Assistant is already available on phones in a number of languages around the world and this week we’re adding a few new ones to the roster—Spanish in the U.S., Mexico and Spain as well as Italian in Italy. So now you can say “Ok Google” and ask the Assistant to play your favorite song, tell you about the weather, navigate home and more. Or try something fun and say “¿Ok Google, sabes nadar?”

Our goal is for the Assistant to be available to help you get things done, no matter what language you speak, what device you’re using or what question you’re asking. Today’s update is another step in that direction, as these new languages join English in Australia, Canada, U.S. and U.K.; Portuguese in Brazil; French in Canada and France; German in Germany; Japanese in Japan; and Korean in Korea. Rolling out over the coming weeks, these new languages will soon automatically be available on eligible Android phones running Android 6.0 or higher with Google Play Services, and later in the year, they’ll also be available on iPhones.

Ci sentiamo presto.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/7ukODdnqXPk/

How Chrome helped LafargeHolcim stay productive during a merger

Category: Google | Nov 1, 2017

Editor’s note: Based in Switzerland, LafargeHolcim is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of building materials, with a presence in 80 countries. Paul Young, their head of collaboration and knowledge, tells us how they relied on Chrome and Android devices to stay business ready during a merger.

Merging two large companies, with two large IT systems, is a challenge even under the best of circumstances. So when the world’s two largest cement manufacturers, Lafarge and Holcim, merged in 2015, ensuring business continuity while integrating these two IT systems was a top priority. Fortunately we had Chrome to help.

Before the merger, Lafarge and Holcim both migrated to Chrome, making the transition easier, faster and more cost-effective. The merger increased the company’s global presence to 80 countries, but with Chrome, updates were automatic. Chrome was also pre-installed on each desktop and mobile device, so we saved time because we didn’t need to deploy it region by region. 

Google’s admin console has made it easy for our IT department to manage both Chrome browser and Android devices from a web-based application. Since we have offices around the globe, this was crucial. Not only are Android devices affordable, but our IT department finds them easy to set up and manage from one administrative panel. And with Chrome, our IT staff can manage browser settings for our employees’ devices no matter where they are. Overall, the combination of Chrome and Android devices has saved the company thousands of dollars every year.

Since the merger, LafargeHolcim has become a leader in manufacturing cement, concrete, aggregates and asphalt, but our growth hasn’t diminished our pace of innovation. In 1864, Lafarge won the “contract of the century” and delivered materials to build the Suez Canal. In 1942, Holcim created one of the world’s first cement research and testing facilities. Combined, LafargeHolcim has over 180 years of experience. And with Google, we’re able to help our employees do their jobs better as more of their work moves online and goes mobile—and continue to innovate.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/STY6Ta77GXg/

Poly: Browse, discover and download 3D objects and scenes

Category: Google | Nov 1, 2017

If you’re building for virtual and augmented reality, you need 3D objects for your apps. With Tilt Brush and Blocks, we’ve made 3D creation easier. Now, we want to enable creators and developers to build on everyone’s work. That’s why we created Poly: one place to browse, discover and download 3D objects. 

Poly lets you quickly find 3D objects and scenes for use in your apps, and it was built from the ground up with AR and VR development in mind. It’s fully integrated with Tilt Brush and Blocks, and it also allows direct OBJ file upload, so there’s lots to discover and use. Whether you’re creating an intense space walk in VR or a serene garden of AR flowers, you’ll find the ingredients you need in Poly.

Search thousands of free models for use in your AR or VR apps, including everything from a rocket ship to a synthesizer to an ice cream cone. Found a robot you like, but need it with four arms instead of two? You can remix many of the models you find. Click “like” to import a remixable object into Tilt Brush or Blocks and make changes; Poly will automatically credit and link to the original creation when you publish your remix.

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In addition to being a great place for developers to find assets, anyone can use Poly to view 3D objects in a mobile or desktop browser. You can search for specific things, like a fox or a pizza. Once you discover something you like, you can create a shareable GIF or view it in VR using Cardboard or Daydream View.

  • ZebraPoly
  • Cheeseburger
  • LighthousePoly
  • SandcastlePoly
  • Dawid

So if you’re a developer building for VR, ARCore or ARKit, or you just want to explore cool 3D objects and scenes, Poly will help you quickly and easily find what you’re looking for. Get started today at poly.google.com, or sign up to preview our API when it’s available.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/m8KOMh13GAY/

Google News Lab Fellows … Where are they now?

Category: Google | Nov 1, 2017

Five years ago, we created the News Lab Fellowship to connect up-and-coming reporters with nonprofit journalism organizations that use data and technology to report the news in different and interesting ways. Since then, we’ve expanded the program to 12 countries, and most recently, the fellowship in Germany, Switzerland and Austria offered placements for journalists and developers in 18 renowned media organizations. We put a special focus on diversity by granting fellowships to journalists with migrant backgrounds.

Jieqian Zhang (@Jieqian_Zhang), 2016 Fellow at the Center for Investigative Reporting

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What she’s doing now: I am now a multimedia editor at the Wall Street Journal.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: I got to work with some of the best data journalists in the industry, and learned how to use data, design and code to tell stories. The experience assured me that I wanted to pursue a career in interactive journalism.

Ben Mullin (@benmullin), 2014 Fellow at The Poynter Institute

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What he’s doing now: I’m a reporter at The Wall Street Journal in New York, where I cover media and advertising.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: Breaking into journalism on a national level is really hard, and I couldn’t have done it without the Google News Lab Fellowship. This opportunity jump-started my career and gave me a toehold at a remarkable institution that ultimately hired me on full-time. I couldn’t be more grateful.

Matt Baker (@phatmattbaker), 2016 Fellow at Fairfax Media in Sydney, Australia

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What he’s doing now: I finally secured a tenure track university position! Officially I am now: Dr Matthew AB Baker, Scientia Research Fellow at UNSW Sydney

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: I learned how to better run a narrative thread through a data-driven story and use my scientific skills to improve reader experiences.

Daniel Funke (@dpfunke), 2017 Fellow at The Poynter Institute

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What he’s doing now: I’m a reporter for the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, covering fake news, fact-checking and online misinformation around the world.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: It was like compressing four years of journalism school into two and a half months—and made me an immeasurably better reporter. The Fellowship gave me the resources and training I needed to continue being a student of news, while also inspiring me to tackle some of its most pressing challenges.

Madeline Welsh (@madelinebwelsh), 2015 Fellow at Nieman Lab

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What she’s doing now: I am working between editorial and production for a recently launched Google Earth feature called Voyager.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: I worked specifically on a project for Nieman Lab looking at how newsrooms were approaching the increasing importance of mobile readership. That was important for the work I later was involved in at the Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab. The fellowship made possible my time at Nieman Lab, which in turn opened me up to a lot of the interesting projects happening in news now.

Stan Oklobdzija (@StanfromSD), 2014 fellow at The Sunlight Foundation

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What he’s doing now: Finishing my doctoral dissertation in Political Science at UC San Diego

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: Working at Sunlight helped me connect the academic understanding of money in politics to the unfolding 2014 midterms to tell a fuller story about campaign finance. It also taught me to go beyond traditional data sources to track political money beyond FEC disclosures.

Lindsay Abrams (@readingirl), 2017 Fellow at Matter.vc

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What she’s doing now: Finishing my final semester of graduate school at New York University’s Studio 20 program, and in January, I’ll be joining Matter full-time as Associate Producer, Media and Program Operations.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: My background is in journalism, so my time spent at Matter exposed me to a whole new world of tech, entrepreneurship, venture capitalism and design thinking. It led me to an amazing job that I never would have thought to seek out had I not experienced it firsthand.

Christine Schmidt (@NewsBySchmidt), 2017 Fellow at Nieman Lab

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What she’s doing now: I work as a full-time Staff Writer at Nieman Lab.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: It connected me to the journalism editors, strategists, innovators, and devotees that I interviewed in my work. I had the opportunity to pick the brains of cool people doing cool journalism, and now I’m incredibly lucky to be able to do that full time as a staff writer at Nieman Lab.

Taylyn Washington-Harmon (@taylynharmon), 2016 Fellow at Nieman Lab

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What she’s doing now: I’m an Associate Social Media Manager at SELF.com

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: This was the first chance i had to do a newsroom internship because previously all my spare time was spent running my own journalism start up. Working with Nieman Journalism Lab gave me the necessary newsroom experience to not only improve my skills as a social media editor but also learn valuable industry information to understand the future of journalism.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/jqgwZGsLnNA/

Taking education higher with Google Cloud Platform

Category: Google | Nov 1, 2017

Editor’s note: This week the Google team is in Philadelphia for the annual EDUCAUSE conference, a gathering of higher education technology leaders. If you’re at the event, visit us at booth #1100 to see the latest demos of Google Cloud Platform (GCP), G Suite, Jamboard, as well as virtual reality and augmented reality tools. Or follow the action on our @GoogleForEdu account, using the #EDU17 hashtag. If you want to connect with our team but can’t make it to Philadelphia, contact us.

I’m continually inspired by all the ways that educational institutions use Google Cloud to expand learning for everyone. Today, eleven years after San Jose City College and Arizona State University became the first to adopt G Suite for Education, we’re announcing that more than 80 million students, faculty and staff now use these tools in higher ed and K12.. Meanwhile, Google Cloud’s product portfolio continues to expand, helping us keep up with educators’ and students’ limitless ideas. Below are a few recent highlights of what institutions have been doing with the help of Google Cloud.

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Northeastern researchers understand the spread of Zika using GCP

Amidst the spread of the Zika virus, the Modeling of Biological and Socio-technical Systems (MoBS) lab at Northeastern University, created a model to better understand the deadly virus. Using a mathematical and computational approach powered by GCP, the team studied different scenarios under which Zika could spread, projecting its impact on affected populations. The model is based on the initial spread of Zika in Brazil, and allows researchers to predict the impact of new infections in other locations by introducing additional data layers, including temperature, number of mosquitoes, population size and people’s travel patterns.

With Google Compute Engine and Preemptible Virtual Machines, MoBS has run more than 10 million simulations and drastically reduced the time needed to analyze data.

“Time is vital when confronting disease outbreaks,” says Matteo Chinazzi, Associate Research Scientist at Northeastern University, “and GCP gives us the tools we need to move quickly at scale.” To read more about MoBS Lab’s  Zika research and analysis, check out “Spread of Zika virus in the Americas” and our full Northeastern case study.

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This incidence map of Zika infections, created in December 2016 by the MoBS lab simulation model, is a spatial projection of the median number of infections by February 28, 2017. The inset maps provide detailed projections for the areas of Recife and Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

MIT professor pushes computing limits

Andrew V. Sutherland, a computational number theorist and Principal at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is part of the team behind L-Functions and Modular Forms Database (LMFDB), a detailed atlas of mathematical objects and the connections among them. This database is used by physics, computer science and mathematics communities around the world.

The calculations to create the objects in LMFDB are complex, time-consuming and expensive to perform. Sutherland uses Compute Engine and Persistent Disk to calculate some of those objects. One tabulation required 580,000 cores of preemptible VMs to compute—the largest known high-performance compute cluster to ever run in the public cloud.

LMFDB also uses Google Cloud to host its web servers, as well as GCP tools like Google Stackdriver, Google Cloud Console and Google Cloud Load Balancing. Running on GCP supports countless daily searches, and allows people in multiple countries to easily administer the system.

We’re excited to see how the team behind LMFDB continues to push the limits of what is possible. See the full MIT LMFDB case study.

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City College of New York and Howard West use GCP Education Grants to equip students with hands-on learning

GCP Education Grants are putting the cloud in the hands of future researchers and computer scientists at more than 500 higher education institutions.

At City College of New York (CCNY), GCP Education Grants provide computer science (CS) students with hands-on experience with virtualization, containers and other cloud technologies. Peter Barnett, Adjunct Associate Computer Science professor, uses GCP Education Grants for students in his Senior Project capstone course, whose software projects have great scientific, social and entrepreneurial potential.  

His teams’ projects include:

  • using machine learning to advance the optical character recognition of handwriting

  • assisting trainers, physical therapists and their clients to develop and maintain correct form in exercise

  • enhancing patent search using content analytics combined with machine learning

  • interior mapping of subway stations and other public places to assist visually impaired people

  • generating quasi-random music with AI that changes in response to user feedback

These students think big, and the GCP grants can help them move from big ideas to new creations.

Across the country, Gloria Washington, a computer science professor from Howard University, helped students in her summer course at Howard West in Mountain View tackle machine learning problems using Cloud Datalab and TensorFlow. These tools allowed Gloria to design a course that was hands-on and project-based, helping students focus on machine learning rather than spending all their time setting up the technology.

“For us, [saving time] was really crucial because we only had five weeks for this course. If you spend a week trying to get them to download the libraries and then make sure that they have the right commands to be able to run it from the shell, that just creates a whole level of complexity that we didn’t want to deal with. The complexity was really cut down.”

Professors teaching courses in computer science and related fields can apply for free GCP Education Grants. Learn more about eligibility and apply for grants and see the full case studies about the experiences of Howard West and CCNY.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/1zf2cI51_cs/

10 things to know about our latest dynamic duo, Google Pixelbook and Pixelbook Pen

Category: Google | Nov 1, 2017

This week we’re debuting our newest hardware star to hit shelves: Google Pixelbook. Pixelbook combines the best parts of a laptop, a tablet, and a smartphone into a new, high performance Chromebook that’s designed to fit how we use technology today. And now Pixelbook can be yours, starting at $999. Here are 10 ways Google Pixelbook, along with its companion the Pixelbook Pen, are standout performers.

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1. Does it all. Pixelbook is fully convertible so it can adapt to any situation or task. With a 4-in-1 design, you can use it as a laptop for work or school, as a tablet to read a book or take notes, in tent mode as you follow along with a recipe in the kitchen, or flip the keyboard underneath and prop it up to watch your favorite show or movie.

2. This show goes on the road. Pixelbook is our thinnest and lightest laptop ever—just 10.3mm thin and about 1 kilogram light—making it super portable.

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3. Knows its lines (even without the script). With Google Drive, Pixelbook automatically backs up your most recent Google Docs, Sheets and Slides files so you can keep working, even without an internet connection.

4. A VIP pass to all the best apps. Pixelbook supports Google Play, so you can use all the apps you know and love…right on your laptop. Download Netflix to watch your favorite series on the commute, even offline, or use Adobe Lightroom to edit a photo before you post it to Instagram, right from your Pixelbook.

5. Roll out the red carpet. Pixelbook is the first laptop with the Google Assistant built in. Just say “Ok Google” or press the dedicated Google Assistant key to send a quick email, create a new doc, get the details of your next calendar event and more. With Pixelbook Pen, you can simply press and hold the button on the pen and circle text or images on your screen to get more information or take action.

6. The show must go on… and on. Pixelbook boots up fast and keeps going, with up to 10 hours of use. When you’re low on juice, just 15 minutes of charging will get you up to two hours of use.

7. Everything’s buttoned up backstage. Your Pixelbook comes with the speed, simplicity and security of Chrome OS, which means it will automatically update when online with the latest software and it won’t slow down over time. It’s also protected from malware with multiple layers of protection and encrypted data with tamper-resistant hardware.

8. Autograph-ready. Pixelbook Pen gives you a natural writing and drawing experience with virtually no lag—plus tilt-support and pressure sensitivity. Take notes right from the lockscreen with Google Keep, draw with Infinite Painter, and more.

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9. Has its own entourage (just like the biggest stars). Your Pixelbook works seamlessly with your Pixel phone so if you’re not within range of a Wi-Fi network, you can use Instant Tethering to automatically connect your Pixelbook to your phone’s mobile data connection.

10. Can fit your whole reelPixelbook comes with three storage options going up to half a terabyte (that’s a lot) of on-device storage so you can easily store your favorite shows, movies and music too. 

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/RKOYllfUUzw/

October Talks at Google: a month of celebrity sightings

Category: Google | Oct 31, 2017

It was a star-studded month for Talks at Google, our very own speaker series. A few celebs stopped by to chat about what they’re up to on the screen and the stage. Check them out below: 

Reese Witherspoon, Jon Rudnitsky, and Hallie Meyers-Shyer visited Google NYC to talk about their new movie “Home Again.” The interview reveals the celebrity history behind the house where the movie was filmed, Reese’s mission to “show a girl she can be the center of her own story” as well as the story behind why Reese started her own production company.

DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis and Denis Villeneuve discuss his new film “Blade Runner 2049,” and how “cinema can evolve when we capture life in front of the camera.” Villeneuve explains that it’s important to give actors the space to create things that weren’t planned—he calls this the “chaos of life.” If you can’t get enough of Blade Runner, check out Harrison Ford’s talk, too.

Watch the cast of Broadway’s Miss Saigon perform a few songs, and discuss how the play—which takes place in the 1970s during the Vietnam War—is relevant today, and helps create an open dialogue about issues we’re facing nearly 50 years after the story takes place.  

Executive Producers Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary discuss CBS’s “Madam Secretary” as Season 4 kicks off, sharing their personal histories,why they created their powerhouse production company, Revelations Entertainment, and Lori’s amazing history as one of the first women to bring computer technology to the motion picture industry.

Stars of “A Bad Mom’s Christmas” Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn stopped by Google HQ to discuss their new movie, parenthood, and how they recharge.

Actress, singer and author Anna Kendrick chats about her book, “Scrappy Little Nobody,” and (naturally) brings the laughs with funny anecdotes from her life and career.

As always, to see more talks, subscribe to Talks at Google on YouTube, follow them on Twitter or browse their website.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/LH49t13Pa4g/

The meeting room, by G Suite

Category: Google | Oct 31, 2017

With G Suite, we’re focused on building tools that help you bring great ideas to life. We know meetings are the main entry point for teams to share and shape ideas into action. That’s why we recently introduced Hangouts Meet, an evolution of Google Hangouts designed specifically for the workplace, and Jamboard, a way to bring creative brainstorming directly into meetings. Combined with Calendar and Drive, these tools extend collaboration beyond four walls and transform how we work—so every team member has a voice, no matter location.

But the transformative power of video meetings is wasted if it’s not affordable and accessible to all organizations. So today, we’re introducing Hangouts Meet hardware—a new way to bring high-quality video meetings to businesses of any size. We’re also announcing new software updates designed to make your meetings even more productive.

Introducing Hangouts Meet hardware

Hangouts Meet hardware is a cost-effective way to bring high-quality video meetings to your business. The hardware kit consists of four components: a touchscreen controller, speakermic, 4K sensor camera and ASUS Chromebox.

Hangouts Meet controller

The new controller provides a modern, intuitive touchscreen interface that allows people to easily join scheduled events from Calendar or view meeting details with a single tap. You can pin and mute team members, as well as control the camera, making managing meetings easy. You can also add participants with the dial-a-phone feature and present from a laptop via HDMI. If you’re a G Suite Enterprise edition customer, you can record the meeting to Drive.

Designed by Google, the Hangouts Meet speakermic actively eliminates echo and background noise to provide crisp, clear audio. Up to five speakermics can be daisy-chained together with a single wire, providing coverage for larger rooms without tabletop clutter.

The 4K sensor camera with 120° field of view easily captures everyone at the table, even in small spaces that some cameras find challenging. Each camera component is fine-tuned to make meetings more personal and distraction-free. Built with machine learning, the camera can intelligently detect participants and automatically crop and zoom to frame them.

Powered by Chrome OS, the ASUS Chromebox makes deploying and managing Hangouts Meet hardware easier than ever. The Chromebox can automatically push updates to other components in the hardware kit, making it easier for large organizations to ensure security and reliability. Remote device monitoring and management make it easy for IT administrators to stay in control, too.

New Hangouts Meet enhancements greatly improve user experience and simplify our meeting rooms. It also creates new ways for our team to collaborate.

Bradley Rhodes

IT Analyst, Woolworths Limited, Australia

Says Bradley Rhodes, IT Analyst End User Computing at Woolworths Ltd Australia, “We are very excited about the new Hangouts Meet hardware, particularly the easy-to-use touchscreen. The enhancements greatly improve the user experience and simplify our meeting rooms. We have also seen it create new ways for our team to collaborate, like via the touch-to-record functionality which allows absent participants to catch up more effectively.”

More features, better meetings

We’re also announcing updates to Meet based on valuable feedback. If you’re a G Suite Enterprise edition customer, you can:

Dial in image Hangouts Meet

  • Record meetings and save them to Drive. Can’t make the meeting? No problem. Record your meeting directly to Drive. Even without a Hangouts Meet hardware kit, Meet on web can save your team’s ideas with a couple of clicks.
  • Host meetings with up to 50 participants. Meet supports up to 50 participants in a meeting, especially useful for bringing global teams together from both inside and outside of your organization.
  • Dial in from around the globe. The dial-in feature in Meet is now available in more than a dozen markets. If you board a flight in one country and land in another, Meet will automatically update your meeting’s dial-in listing to a local phone number.

These new features are rolling out gradually. The hardware kit is priced at $1999 and is available in select markets around the globe beginning today.

Whether you’re collaborating in Jamboard, recording meetings and referencing discussions in Drive or scheduling your next team huddle in Calendar, Hangouts Meet hardware makes it even easier to bring the power of your favorite G Suite tools into team meetings. For more information, visit the G Suite website.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/ml1gEZgFgOE/

Reach more customers with Local Services by Google

Category: Google | Oct 31, 2017

When people need a plumber or a locksmith, they search online for a business nearby. With Local Services by Google, businesses like yours can show up at the top of Search, so that you can reach local clients right when they’re interested, and book more jobs.

Today we’re announcing that Local Services, previously in a pilot as Home Services, is running in 17 cities across the U.S., and will be available in 30 major metro areas by the end of 2017.

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Local Services unit with results for the search query “house cleaning in Menlo Park”

All Google Guaranteed businesses that appear in Local Services are background checked and display a badge of trust, which limits deceptive advertisers, elicits trust among users and highlights quality businesses. Once on the platform, you can make a personalized profile page that displays your reviews, contact info, and unique aspects about your business like being eco-friendly or family-owned. Potential clients can view your profile and make a decision and get in touch right away. You only pay for leads that are relevant to the services you offer, and it’s easy for you to turn your ads on and off so you get leads when you want them.

How Local Services became a “game changer” for one small business

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Luis Gonzalez, owner of Roses Cleaning Corporation

Luis Gonzalez started his cleaning company in 2010, after being laid off in the wake of the financial crisis. At first, Luis vacuumed the hallways in his apartment building for $100 off his rent.

Realizing there was a demand for local cleaning services, Luis created a website and founded Roses House Cleaning Services, nicknamed after his wife.

In the beginning, Luis used online directories to advertise locally, but a year ago he started using Local Services and saw an immediate jump in calls.

While a $300 newspaper ad might yield three calls from potential customers, Luis says, “I get 3-5 calls every day through Local Services.” He calls the service a “game changer,” that has sustained and grown his business—now he doesn’t have to worry about getting enough jobs to fill his schedule each week.

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The Local Services mobile app is available on Android and iOS

Booking appointments and tracking real results on-the-go

Luis uses the Local Services app to manage leads from his phone throughout the day, making it easy to integrate into his existing workflow. He can answer questions right away, giving customers the individual attention that keeps them coming back. Luis can track the number of leads he’s received and how they’re converting to jobs, right from the app.

He also uses the Local Services app to manage his budget and track calls on the go. Luis says, “If they’re not repeat customers, all the new calls are coming from Google.” When he’s too busy, it’s easy for Luis to turn the ads off so he only gets leads when he wants them.

With the consistent flow of business and the help of Google, Roses Cleaning has grown. They’ve recently hired two new employees to keep up with the demand.

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Luis has hired two new employees to keep up the calls from Local Services

Small businesses all over the U.S. are using Local Services to bring in more calls from new customers who are actively looking to book service providers through the platform. Iftah Sagi, the owner of IVS Security in Atlanta says he gets about eight calls a day from customers that found his business through Local Services. Dan Travers, the owner of 1-800-ANYTYME Plumbing, Heating and Air, says his booking rates are up by almost 70% since joining Local Services. Both owners have also hired additional employees to keep up with the increase in call volume, just like Luis.

We’re passionate about helping small businesses like Roses Cleaning, IVS Security, and 1-800-ANYTYME reach new customers directly and grow their business. You can sign up to be one of our service providers here.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/JLRc3ZobSTo/