Google Hits the Streets, Palm Unveils New Mobile Device

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I've searched far and wide for some really neat technology to bring you today, but it turns out the most exciting announcement recently has been, well, pedestrian.


Of course, I'm talking about Google Map's new Street View, which features 3-D street-level views of San Francisco, Denver, Las Vegas, New York and Miami. If you're too busy to play with it on your own, the blog Today@PCWorld offers a great pictorial walkthrough, which seems appropriate. If you like it, thank Immersive Media, a Canada-based company that filmed the 3-D images. You can expect Google to add more cities soon, since Immersive already has mapped up to 40,000 miles of streets in 35 U.S. cities, according to a report from Red Herring.


Of course, Microsoft offered something similar with its LiveSearch last fall. It's probably not a coincidence that Microsoft announced an expanded offering on the same day as Google unveiled its Street View. Microsoft also upped its offering by adding real-time maps of construction and traffic.


Other companies made similar 3-D announcements yesterday, according to Forbes.


That was yesterday's big emerging tech news, but by noon Pacific Time, I predict everyone will be gossiping about Palm's new product announcement. Word on the virtual street is it's Palm's answer to the iPhone, but Jeff Hawkins - who created the original Palm Pilot - is billing it as a "a new category of mobile device." The big news is that Hawkins himself conceived the new product. For those of you too young to remember when these ancient devices ruled the mobile world - long before anyone had heard of BlackBerry - Tadd Rosenfeld does a great job of explaining why this is such an anticipated announcement. Hawkins will reveal the new product at the D: All Things Digital conference tomorrow, and follow up immediately with a live Webcast at 11:30 a.m., PT, for journalists and analysts.