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This is Google's sleeker, smaller, lighter Street View Trekker 360-degree camera kit

Google gives its Street View Trekker a hardware upgrade and redesign.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on
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Google has taken the wraps of a new version of its Street View Trekker portable 360 degree camera that helps it map and capture places where its Street View cars can't -- like mountain tops, ancient ruins, jungles, train stations and museums. 

The newly designed Trekker backpack-kit will now be easier for wearers to lug around due to its sleeker, smaller and lighter design, which now features the Google Maps brand on a blue casing. 

The 360 degree camera is also capable of taking sharper images thanks to a larger aperture and higher resolution sensors.    

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Image: Google

Besides being worn by a person, Trekker can be attached to cars, boats and other vehicles. 

Images captured from Trekker gear help Google capture more of the world for Street View, as well as mapping developing countries and big cities with complex structures. 

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The new Trekker still has the same basic shape as the old one, with a stick topped by the camera protruding up from a computer and battery pack. However, the new design is much thinner, and the camera head is significantly smaller. 

Overall, it looks more like a polished and finished product than a prototype that's been bolted together. The height of the neck also appears to be adjustable. Google's images show a blue Google Maps-branded casing, and a white non-branded casing. 

Google says that anyone can apply to use the new version of the backpack through the Trekker loan program. It's also aimed at Google's partners, such as tourism boards, airports and transit operators.   

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