Star Droid: Star Gazing Android Application By Google

In addition to launching Android applications for Google’s traditional product line, the company has also playfully dabbled with more creative concepts. For example, they launched an application that keeps track of  sports scores called Google Scoreboard and one Google empoyee used his 20% time to create a little game called Divide & Conquer. But the most creative/novel Android application to come out of Google hasn’t yet been released – StarDroid.

star-droid

Here is how StarDroid will work:

  • It will use the built-in GPS of your Android Phone to pinpoint your geographic location, and with that, it can determine the position of the stars in the sky as viewed by you
  • It will use the built-in accelerometer to determine what part of the sky your phone is pointed towards
  • It will combine these two pieces of information to show you, on the viewfinder, the names of stars, planets and constellations

I was never an Astronomy fan… until I watched the below video. Now I am somewhat obssessed:

This narrated account putting the findings of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope into perspective absolutely BLEW my mind. If you have never seen this before I think it will – and hope it does – change you outlook on what you see when you look at the sky. And for those who have already seen it… I’m sure you’ll enjoy watching it again. WATCH THE ENTIRE THING!

I really hope we see more applications and games that utilize the power of GPS and Accelerometer. The latter of those two might see an explosion of new software if 29-year-old Jubei has anything to say about it. He has created an Android Controller which he is making Open Source that will unlock a ton of Android Power:

Imagine the possibilities…

[Via Telegraph]

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  • Flandry

    Is it the accelerometer or the digital compass that does that big of magic? I see all kinds of different claims about what the sensors can do, and it has me a bit confused.

    This is yet another cool convergence app, regardless. I want 1st rate hardware already for Android so i can get aboard!

  • roy

    This has been out for months under the name of sky map.

  • Utz

    It’s probably the digital compass

    there is already a very similiar app out in market for a long time , well not with that fancy special functions ;)

    Oh, and don’t forget to mention ScummVM, is also from a google employee ^^

  • Ted

    Theres already an app that can do this… its called Sky Map… :/

  • Marcel

    Flandry, its both, the accelerometer and digital compass in use there

  • Phil

    I definitely feel Sky Map has been slighted here. They have had an app out for months. I don’t know if Google was behind that one but they definitely deserve the credit being heaped onto Google here.

  • Rob Jackson

    Thanks for everyone’s concern in pointing out the Sky Map application. I thought this was significant in that Google themselves were developing it but I agree – not mentioning Sky Map at all was an oversight. I’ll give the application a search/download and whirl and make sure to dedicate an article to Sky Map this upcoming week (assuming I get my video camera back from the person I lent it to!).

    By the way, in the Scoreboard article I mention how it begins the era where Google competes with Android’s own developers. I’m 100% fine with that… Android is Free and Open and just as Google is able to make any application they so desire, any developer can provide an offering that competes with a Google product. And unlike other platforms, developers don’t have to worry that Google will remove their product because it competes with their own offering.

    Nonetheless, I appreciate everyone’s support of Sky Map here and I’ll make sure to do a writeup and if I can, provide a quick video review, too.

    Thanks everyone!

  • David

    Just use the G1 camera to take a video of the G1 while it … um …

    If the G1 video’s itself, does the video exist? Is this the first case of Schrodingers G1?

    In all seriousness, does the preview suggest that it uses the camera and overlays the location of constellations, etc, using the viewfinder? That’s what it sounds like, just not exactly sure.

  • wildstar

    Btw it’s worth mentioning that the sky map (and googles version) require both the compass and the accelerometer. Which is why i use this app to show off to my iphone buds because they dont have the compass.

    The accelerometer is for the vertical axis and the compass for the directional facing.

    Also one thing that stardroid might add over the sky map is actual hubble reconstructed sky map (not just constellations) and it might allow pause and zoom on an area

  • Sandor

    Wildstar is correct. The application will need both the accelerometer and compass (and GPS) to pinpoint the phone’s exact location and direction.

    Now, let’s get off to outer space… )

  • Utz

    It’s out now!

  • Jennye

    Not just out – but it *is* SkyMap Looks like Google acquired it. Awesome, because I am a huge SkyMap fan and was upset at the slight.

  • Pingback: Google Sky Map Now Available In Android Market! | Android Phone Fans

  • Michel

    Yes, it’s the same app.

    If you look at SkyMap, the author already used a google address. From what I understand, the intention always was to end up with a google app, and SkyMap was just an early release of that.