Bringing pixels front and center in VR video

Editor’s Note: This is the first post in a new series where we take a more in-depth and technical look at ways to improve the virtual reality experience. Today, we’re deep diving into Equi-Angular Cubemaps, which is a new technique to stream higher quality VR video.

Since ancient times, cartographers have strived to make maps that accurately reflect the world. A central challenge of the art is projecting the Earth, which is curved, onto flat paper and screens. Many methods of projection have been proposed over the centuries, but to date no universally good answer has been found: every choice is always a tradeoff tuned for its intended use. Because new services like Google Maps and applications like VR video seek to provide accurate and meaningful information about our curved, 3D world on a 2D screen, this challenge persists even today.

While traditional cartography techniques must address the basic challenge of how to represent the world in 2D, video streaming also faces a new constraint that early mapmakers didn’t have: making efficient use of bandwidth. Streaming high quality video pushes the limits of network bandwidth, particularly for mobile networks. And when considering VR video, the bandwidth demands are vastly increased since it must represent imagery from a full sphere rather than just a small window onto the world. Stereo video roughly doubles the data yet again. Therefore making the most of available bandwidth is a top concern.

Now, in a joint effort between YouTube and Daydream, we’re adding new ways to make 360 and VR videos look even more realistic in a bandwidth-constrained world. This post delves into how these techniques work thanks to Equi-Angular Cubemaps (EACs). To benefit from them, consider putting your content on YouTube. EACs are likely to be useful in many other contexts as well, so we look forward to seeing what can be done with them.

Equirectangular Projection

The most familiar representation is one where latitudes and longitudes are used to form a square grid. This is known as the Equirectangular Projection.

EquirectGlobe

Equirectangular projection of the Tissot Indicatrix

The equirectangular projection has the advantages of being both rectangular and straightforward to visualize. It’s also relatively easy to manipulate using existing video editing tools. However, when used for video transmission, it has serious problems. First, the poles get a lot of pixels, and the equator gets relatively few. This is challenging, because spherical videos usually have their important content distributed around the equatorial regions (the middle), which is the viewer’s horizon. It also has high distortion, which makes existing video compression technology work harder.

Taken together, these shortcomings highlight the fundamental challenge of spherical video projection: evenly allocating video pixels over the surface of the display sphere.

Traditional Cube Maps

An improvement on equirectangular projections frequently used in the gaming industry is the cube map. This is conceptually simple: deform a sphere into a cube, then unfold the cube’s six faces and lay them flat.

StandardCubemapGlobe

The most straightforward way to do this is with a simple radial projection: you embed the sphere in a cube and project the image on the sphere outwards onto the surface of the cube.

This is an improvement over equirectangular projections, but it still causes substantial variation in pixel density. The problem is that the centers of the cube faces are close to the sphere, while the corners are further away.

StandardCubemap2DViz

In the figure above, the rays have all been equally spaced over the circle, but the points where the rays intersect the square are not equally spaced. As a result, the corners get more video pixels than the centers, because the longer blue line spans more pixels on the square edge than the red line, which again shortchanges the equator. In the full three dimensional case, the effect is even more pronounced.

The Equi-Angular Cubemap (EAC)

You can correct for this variation by changing where you take the video’s pixel samples.

EAC2DViz

The rays emanating from the center represent a viewer’s line of sight, equally spaced by angular change. On the left is the traditional cubemap, where the mapping from face location to pixel location is linear. On the right is the more efficient EAC mapping.

The traditional cubemap has samples of varying length depending on the sample’s location on the cube face. EAC is specifically constructed to keep these lengths equal, creating uniformly allocated pixels. For all the reasons that cartography is hard, this 2D picture does not extend perfectly into 3D: if you choose to preserve one important feature of the mapping you invariably give up something else. Check out Conformal Mapping and Equal Area Projections for more information on preserving some characteristics at the cost of others. The EAC formula is mathematically precise in 2D, but only an approximation of an equal angle pixel distribution in 3D, albeit a pretty good approximation with manageable distortion.

Uniformity Comparisons

A useful method to visually compare different projection types is to use saturation maps. A saturation map shows a color-coded ratio of video pixel to display pixel density. The color coding goes from red to orange, yellow, green and finally blue. Green indicates an optimal pixel density ratio that’s near 1:1. Red, orange and yellow indicate insufficient density (too few video pixels for the available display pixels), and blue indicates wasted resources (too many video pixels for the available display pixels). You can change the overall colors on a saturation map by increasing the resolution of the video. But for a saturation map with lots of variation, as you bring the least saturated areas to green, you also increase the area of the video where resources are being wasted. Therefore, the ideal projection has a saturation map that is uniform in color – because it can be uniformly green with sufficient resolution.

Saturation is highly dependent on the size of the image as well as the resolution of the output device. Different choices of resolutions will alter the overall greenness or orangeness. The saturation maps below were generated from a specific case study, chosen to maximize the visibility of variation in saturation.

SaturationComp

Equirectangular Projection (left), Standard Cubemap (middle), Equi-Angular Cubemap (right)

Unsurprisingly, in the Equirectangular projection the poles are blue (wasteful, too many video pixels) and the equator orange (poor quality, too few video pixels).

In comparison, the Standard Cubemap moves the optimal green regions from near the poles towards the equator. The wasteful blue regions at the poles are gone altogether. On the other hand, the cubemap is better at the corners of the cube as compared to the center of its faces. Moreover, the equatorial region has the most variation in saturation, and the centers of the cube faces are actually lower quality than the worst regions of the equirectangular projection.

Finally, the EAC projection’s saturation is significantly more uniform than either of the previous two, while further improving quality around the equator. This uniformity allows maximal use of available bandwidth, thereby permitting a choice of whichever resolution delivers optimal pixel density in a given circumstance.

The Proof is in the Pudding

The end result of all this work is an easily visible improvement in viewer video quality. The image shows screen captures of the left eye for 360 stereo video at 720p displayed in a 1080p Google Cardboard viewer. The bigger image is for context of the scene, while the smaller callouts are zoomed in regions to make the differences more apparent. The callouts compare what this scene looks like with an equirectangular projection as opposed to the new Equi-Angular Cubemap. As you can see, the image is clearer with an EAC projection.

FrameCompare

The Devil is in the Details…

That covers how the EAC projection works in principle. But it’s worth addressing the layout of the cube faces in the video’s rectangular bounds and the actual math. The equations mapping a point on a cube face to a video pixel sample are straightforward.

MathPic3EAC

An analogous operation is done for each face.

Now all six sets of [0, 1] texture coordinates need to be packed into a single video texture. If video shape and size are constrained by hardware or streaming limitations, these layouts can be nontrivial, and they may require analysis in their own right.  There are many different ways to layout the six faces of the cube into a video rectangle.  In addition, there might be discontinuities where faces meet each other, which can cause problems with video encoding and pixel interpolation when rendering. Texture atlases used in games have similar issues, and they are usually addressed by adding padding at the discontinuities. These details offer an opportunity for making choices and tradeoffs for the way the abstract EAC concept is deployed.

For those of you who are familiar with OpenGL, you may have noticed that this can all be done with a cubemap texture and a fragment shader which alters the texture lookups. You’re correct! The actual math is left as an exercise for the reader.

Image quality matters a lot for VR, and it’s important to balance accurate projections with the realities of bandwidth constraints. Having reviewed some of the challenges with equirectangular projections and traditional cubemaps, it’s clear that Equi-Angular Cubemaps offer better results and more efficient use of resources. We believe it’s worth understanding EAC projections, since this is how we’re achieving higher quality streaming at lower bandwidth on YouTube. We’re excited to see how you use them in other contexts as well.

The She Word: Jen Holland and her career expedition

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the powerful, dynamic and creative women of Google. Like generations before them, these women break down barriers and defy expectations at work and in their communities. Over the course of the month, we’ll help you get to know a few of these Google women, and share a bit about who they are and why they inspire us.

Today we’re talking to Jen Holland, a program manager on our education team who once played a humming game on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” with Ellen and Vince Vaughn. (Before you ask, no—there’s no video.)

jen

You’re at a dinner party and someone asks what you do. How do you explain your job to them?

My team works on education products like Google Classroom and Expeditions (a virtual field trip app for schools) that aim to transform how teaching and learning happen in the classroom. As a program manager, I’m responsible for our product pilots in schools—where we work directly alongside teachers and students to develop our products based on what schools actually need.

I lead our efforts to bring Expeditions to schools all over the globe through the Pioneer Program, which has taken more than  2 million students in 11 countries on an Expedition. Finally, I’m responsible for all Expeditions content creation, which now spans more than 500 high-quality VR tours and 200+ teacher lesson plans. This week we added 40 more Expeditions which are all focused on women’s careers, and introduce students to what it’s like to work as an astronaut, engineer, or firefighter.

You’ve been on the Expeditions team from the beginning. What have you found most inspiring or surprising about the program?

The biggest joy I get is going into a class and seeing the magic of Expeditions take over. The students are totally engaged without even realizing it and ask incredible and inquisitive questions. The teachers can hardly believe what they are seeing and the smiles on their faces are just priceless. That’s what learning should look like every day.

The coolest part of Expeditions for me is that I had no background in VR or creating compelling VR content—let alone any experience running a global program. I spent tons of time watching YouTube videos, reading articles, going to conferences, and listening to podcasts to learn more about VR. It took a lot of trial and error, but as my dad always said to me, “if there’s a will, there’s a way.”

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I really wanted to work in “business.” My dad was a business professor and my first “investor” when I was a kid (think lemonade stands and sewing ribbon belts!). As I grew older and spent more time with my dad’s friends—like Bill Campbell, who was the chairman of Intuit and a beloved advisor to Silicon Valley companies—I became fascinated by entrepreneurship and product development.

I’m also passionate about helping college students get the skills they need to be competitive from day one. I learned so much of my important “soft skills” on the job—I wish I’d had more coaching and opportunities to learn about things like project management, budgeting, business modeling, giving and receiving peer feedback, upward communication, etc. in classes. That’s one of the reasons I love working on Expeditions—which can help students explore college campuses and learn more about other careers—and why I volunteer with students on entrepreneurship programs.

Tell us about one of your mentors who helped you get to where you are today.

My college accounting professor, Dawn Massey, was not only a fantastic teacher, but also encouraged me to pursue my crazy ideas. When I took my first accounting class in college, I was miserable. I hated accounting. But by spending so much time with her, I got better. I ended up switching my focus and moved into finance—something I’d never considered because I thought I was bad at math. Fast forward, I ended up with an MBA in Finance and accepted a role on Google’s finance team, which eventually led to my dream job—the one I have now.

My second mentor was someone I mentioned already—Bill Campbell. He was a dear friend of my dad’s, and always made time for me. I learned from him that it’s always important to make time for individuals who willing to put in the effort and succeed, whether that be through informal coffee chats, mentorships, reviewing resumes, doing mock interviews, etc. You can always make time to help someone out.

How do you spend most of your time outside of work?

My husband and I love to host and have friends over for dinner parties—or really any kind of parties. I LOVE craft projects, floral arrangements, and baking and cooking. I enjoy traveling—my favorite place to visit is Maine, where my family spends every Fourth of July. And I especially love the time I spend volunteering and engaging with students. I started a program that teaches college students professional development skills to help them close the digital divide in their school’s communities, and also hit the ground running in a job or internship.

Who run the world? How we’re celebrating International Women’s Day

Lee Tai-Young was Korea’s first female lawyer and first female judge. Cecilia Grierson was the first woman to receive a medical degree in Argentina. And Ida B. Wells was a newspaper editor by age 25 and one of the founders of the NAACP. These are a few of the remarkable women you’ll meet in today’s Doodle celebrating International Women’s Day, one of several ways we’re raising awareness about the contributions of women, past and present, throughout Women’s History Month. We’re also supporting efforts to close the gender gap in tech and other fields. Read on for a look at what we’re doing to recognize women across media, culture, leadership and more this month.

Celebrating historical heroines

In today’s interactive slideshow Doodle, a young girl goes on an imaginary journey to meet 13 female trailblazers from throughout history. From a pilot in Egypt to a dancer in India, these women may not all be household names, but they’ve all made a unique mark on the world. In fact, all of them have been celebrated in a Doodle in the past, but often only in their countries of origin. Today, we’re sharing their stories worldwide.

IWD doodle

After your journey, learn more about all of the women in the Doodle in a new Spotlight Story from Google Arts & Culture. See the São Paulo Museum of Art, designed by Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi, or the Phoenician alphabet tablet with which Halet Cambel deciphered Hittite hieroglyphics. You can also find more exhibits on notable women from throughout history on our Women in Culture page. You might just meet a new heroine!

A day in the life of women astronauts, pilots and engineers with VR

Today’s Doodle introduces you to notable women of the past, but what about the women of today and tomorrow? With Expeditions, more than 2 million students have gone on 500+ virtual field trips to places like Machu Picchu and the International Space Station using Google Cardboard. Today we’re adding 40 new Expeditions to this collection, all focused on on the careers, adventures, and contributions of women.

IWD_NASAWomen(3).jpg

The new Expeditions highlight everyone from astronauts, airplane pilots, engineers and photographers to the female firefighters of the FDNY. They open a window into a typical day on the job—whether in a recording studio or a cockpit, explain the person’s backstory and reveal how she got to where she is today. Some also offer advice to students interested in pursuing a similar career. Download the app on iOS and Android to get started.

Recognizing inspirational women on YouTube

Rosie Rios, an inspiring woman in her own right as the 43rd Treasurer of the United States, led the efforts to put a woman on U.S. currency. That meant learning more about the hundreds of American women who made great contributions to the history of this country. Now she’s created a special playlist for YouTube Kids called “Super Women of Our Past” that introduces young people to some of these women, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Harriet Tubman to Grace Hopper.  Watch with the YouTube Kids app. You can also find other, related playlists, like “Celebrate Women’s History Month” and “Celebrate International Women’s Day.”

IWD_NASAWomen(2).jpg

YouTube is also working to turn up the volume on inspirational women’s voices through the #HerVoiceIsMyVoice campaign. We hope you’ll join by sharing a video of a woman whose voice speaks to you.

Her Voice is My Voice

Tracking screen time

GDIQ

The Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient (GD-IQ) tool uses machine learning to detect different characters on-screen, determine their gender, and calculate how often and for how long they spoke in relation to one another.

Media can play a huge part in empowering women to discover new careers, but often the characters we see on screen aren’t very diverse. Recently, our machine learning team worked with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and USC Viterbi School of Engineering to develop a new tool that uses machine learning to measure how often we see and hear women on screen. We then put the software to work, analyzing the 100 highest-grossing live-action films from the past three years. The tool revealed that men are seen and heard nearly twice as often as women. In Academy Award-winning films, women make up just 32 percent of screen time and 27 percent of speaking time. In a world where girls are only half as likely as boys to have CS role models, representation matters. Over time, we hope this project can help raise awareness of the “missing women” in media, encourage filmmakers to include a broader range of characters, and introduce young people to more diverse role models.

Coming together in the community

We’re also participating in or hosting dozens of events supporting women at Google and in tech. Last weekend we held the first of many Women Techmakers summits, which offer hands-on coding workshops on TensorFlow, networking opportunities and inspiring speakers. Women Techmakers is also sponsoring more than 140 community meetups for women in tech worldwide. Many of our 120 [email protected] employee resource group chapters are hosting events—from career development workshops to civic action weeks—in cities around the world. And at our Cloud Next event headed by Diane Greene, SVP of Google Cloud, we’ll feature women leaders from Google and partners in a

The She Word: spotlighting women Googlers

There are thousands of powerful, dynamic and creative women at Google. This month, you can get to know some of them right here on the Keyword and our Instagram account, starting with Alexandrina Garcia-verdin, whose personal hero is Frida Kahlo, and Tea Uglow, who loves coffee (but not tea).

These are just a few of the women who inspire us. We hope you’ll share some of your own. Whether it’s empowering female voices as part of #HerVoiceIsMyVoice, or telling your personal story with #TodayIAm, we’re excited to hear it.

Who run the world? How we’re celebrating International Women’s Day

Lee Tai-Young was Korea’s first female lawyer and first female judge. Cecilia Grierson was the first woman to receive a medical degree in Argentina. And Ida B. Wells was a newspaper editor by age 25 and one of the founders of the NAACP. These are a few of the remarkable women you’ll meet in today’s Doodle celebrating International Women’s Day, one of several ways we’re raising awareness about the contributions of women, past and present, throughout Women’s History Month. We’re also supporting efforts to close the gender gap in tech and other fields. Read on for a look at what we’re doing to recognize women across media, culture, leadership and more this month.

Celebrating historical heroines

In today’s interactive slideshow Doodle, a young girl goes on an imaginary journey to meet 13 female trailblazers from throughout history. From a pilot in Egypt to a dancer in India, these women may not all be household names, but they’ve all made a unique mark on the world. In fact, all of them have been celebrated in a Doodle in the past, but often only in their countries of origin. Today, we’re sharing their stories worldwide.

IWD doodle

After your journey, learn more about all of the women in the Doodle in a new Spotlight Story from Google Arts & Culture. See the São Paulo Museum of Art, designed by Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi, or the Phoenician alphabet tablet with which Halet Cambel deciphered Hittite hieroglyphics. You can also find more exhibits on notable women from throughout history on our Women in Culture page. You might just meet a new heroine!

A day in the life of women astronauts, pilots and engineers with VR

Today’s Doodle introduces you to notable women of the past, but what about the women of today and tomorrow? With Expeditions, more than 2 million students have gone on 500+ virtual field trips to places like Machu Picchu and the International Space Station using Google Cardboard. Today we’re adding 40 new Expeditions to this collection, all focused on on the careers, adventures, and contributions of women.

IWD_NASAWomen(3).jpg

The new Expeditions highlight everyone from astronauts, airplane pilots, engineers and photographers to the female firefighters of the FDNY. They open a window into a typical day on the job—whether in a recording studio or a cockpit, explain the person’s backstory and reveal how she got to where she is today. Some also offer advice to students interested in pursuing a similar career. Download the app on iOS and Android to get started.

Recognizing inspirational women on YouTube

Rosie Rios, an inspiring woman in her own right as the 43rd Treasurer of the United States, led the efforts to put a woman on U.S. currency. That meant learning more about the hundreds of American women who made great contributions to the history of this country. Now she’s created a special playlist for YouTube Kids called “Super Women of Our Past” that introduces young people to some of these women, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Harriet Tubman to Grace Hopper.  Watch with the YouTube Kids app. You can also find other, related playlists, like “Celebrate Women’s History Month” and “Celebrate International Women’s Day.”

IWD_NASAWomen(2).jpg

YouTube is also working to turn up the volume on inspirational women’s voices through the #HerVoiceIsMyVoice campaign. We hope you’ll join by sharing a video of a woman whose voice speaks to you.

Her Voice is My Voice

Tracking screen time

GDIQ

The Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient (GD-IQ) tool uses machine learning to detect different characters on-screen, determine their gender, and calculate how often and for how long they spoke in relation to one another.

Media can play a huge part in empowering women to discover new careers, but often the characters we see on screen aren’t very diverse. Recently, our machine learning team worked with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and USC Viterbi School of Engineering to develop a new tool that uses machine learning to measure how often we see and hear women on screen. We then put the software to work, analyzing the 100 highest-grossing live-action films from the past three years. The tool revealed that men are seen and heard nearly twice as often as women. In Academy Award-winning films, women make up just 32 percent of screen time and 27 percent of speaking time. In a world where girls are only half as likely as boys to have CS role models, representation matters. Over time, we hope this project can help raise awareness of the “missing women” in media, encourage filmmakers to include a broader range of characters, and introduce young people to more diverse role models.

Coming together in the community

We’re also participating in or hosting dozens of events supporting women at Google and in tech. Last weekend we held the first of many Women Techmakers summits, which offer hands-on coding workshops on TensorFlow, networking opportunities and inspiring speakers. Women Techmakers is also sponsoring more than 140 community meetups for women in tech worldwide. Many of our 120 [email protected] employee resource group chapters are hosting events—from career development workshops to civic action weeks—in cities around the world. And at our Cloud Next event headed by Diane Greene, SVP of Google Cloud, we’ll feature women leaders from Google and partners in a

The She Word: spotlighting women Googlers

There are thousands of powerful, dynamic and creative women at Google. This month, you can get to know some of them right here on the Keyword and our Instagram account, starting with Alexandrina Garcia-verdin, whose personal hero is Frida Kahlo, and Tea Uglow, who loves coffee (but not tea).

These are just a few of the women who inspire us. We hope you’ll share some of your own. Whether it’s empowering female voices as part of #HerVoiceIsMyVoice, or telling your personal story with #TodayIAm, we’re excited to hear it.

Who run the world? How we’re celebrating International Women’s Day

Lee Tai-Young was Korea’s first female lawyer and first female judge. Cecilia Grierson was the first woman to receive a medical degree in Argentina. And Ida B. Wells was a newspaper editor by age 25 and one of the founders of the NAACP. These are a few of the remarkable women you’ll meet in today’s Doodle celebrating International Women’s Day, one of several ways we’re raising awareness about the contributions of women, past and present, throughout Women’s History Month. We’re also supporting efforts to close the gender gap in tech and other fields. Read on for a look at what we’re doing to recognize women across media, culture, leadership and more this month.

Celebrating historical heroines

In today’s interactive slideshow Doodle, a young girl goes on an imaginary journey to meet 13 female trailblazers from throughout history. From a pilot in Egypt to a dancer in India, these women may not all be household names, but they’ve all made a unique mark on the world. In fact, all of them have been celebrated in a Doodle in the past, but often only in their countries of origin. Today, we’re sharing their stories worldwide.

IWD doodle

After your journey, learn more about all of the women in the Doodle in a new Spotlight Story from Google Arts & Culture. See the São Paulo Museum of Art, designed by Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi, or the Phoenician alphabet tablet with which Halet Cambel deciphered Hittite hieroglyphics. You can also find more exhibits on notable women from throughout history on our Women in Culture page. You might just meet a new heroine!

A day in the life of women astronauts, pilots and engineers with VR

Today’s Doodle introduces you to notable women of the past, but what about the women of today and tomorrow? With Expeditions, more than 2 million students have gone on 500+ virtual field trips to places like Machu Picchu and the International Space Station using Google Cardboard. Today we’re adding 40 new Expeditions to this collection, all focused on on the careers, adventures, and contributions of women.

IWD_NASAWomen(3).jpg

The new Expeditions highlight everyone from astronauts, airplane pilots, engineers and photographers to the female firefighters of the FDNY. They open a window into a typical day on the job—whether in a recording studio or a cockpit, explain the person’s backstory and reveal how she got to where she is today. Some also offer advice to students interested in pursuing a similar career. Download the app on iOS and Android to get started.

Recognizing inspirational women on YouTube

Rosie Rios, an inspiring woman in her own right as the 43rd Treasurer of the United States, led the efforts to put a woman on U.S. currency. That meant learning more about the hundreds of American women who made great contributions to the history of this country. Now she’s created a special playlist for YouTube Kids called “Super Women of Our Past” that introduces young people to some of these women, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Harriet Tubman to Grace Hopper.  Watch with the YouTube Kids app. You can also find other, related playlists, like “Celebrate Women’s History Month” and “Celebrate International Women’s Day.”

IWD_NASAWomen(2).jpg

YouTube is also working to turn up the volume on inspirational women’s voices through the #HerVoiceIsMyVoice campaign. We hope you’ll join by sharing a video of a woman whose voice speaks to you.

Her Voice is My Voice

Tracking screen time

GDIQ

The Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient (GD-IQ) tool uses machine learning to detect different characters on-screen, determine their gender, and calculate how often and for how long they spoke in relation to one another.

Media can play a huge part in empowering women to discover new careers, but often the characters we see on screen aren’t very diverse. Recently, our machine learning team worked with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and USC Viterbi School of Engineering to develop a new tool that uses machine learning to measure how often we see and hear women on screen. We then put the software to work, analyzing the 100 highest-grossing live-action films from the past three years. The tool revealed that men are seen and heard nearly twice as often as women. In Academy Award-winning films, women make up just 32 percent of screen time and 27 percent of speaking time. In a world where girls are only half as likely as boys to have CS role models, representation matters. Over time, we hope this project can help raise awareness of the “missing women” in media, encourage filmmakers to include a broader range of characters, and introduce young people to more diverse role models.

Coming together in the community

We’re also participating in or hosting dozens of events supporting women at Google and in tech. Last weekend we held the first of many Women Techmakers summits, which offer hands-on coding workshops on TensorFlow, networking opportunities and inspiring speakers. Women Techmakers is also sponsoring more than 140 community meetups for women in tech worldwide. Many of our 120 [email protected] employee resource group chapters are hosting events—from career development workshops to civic action weeks—in cities around the world. And at our Cloud Next event headed by Diane Greene, SVP of Google Cloud, we’ll feature women leaders from Google and partners in a

The She Word: spotlighting women Googlers

There are thousands of powerful, dynamic and creative women at Google. This month, you can get to know some of them right here on the Keyword and our Instagram account, starting with Alexandrina Garcia-verdin, whose personal hero is Frida Kahlo, and Tea Uglow, who loves coffee (but not tea).

These are just a few of the women who inspire us. We hope you’ll share some of your own. Whether it’s empowering female voices as part of #HerVoiceIsMyVoice, or telling your personal story with #TodayIAm, we’re excited to hear it.

Who run the world? How we’re celebrating International Women’s Day

Lee Tai-Young was Korea’s first female lawyer and first female judge. Cecilia Grierson was the first woman to receive a medical degree in Argentina. And Ida B. Wells was a newspaper editor by age 25 and one of the founders of the NAACP. These are a few of the remarkable women you’ll meet in today’s Doodle celebrating International Women’s Day, one of several ways we’re raising awareness about the contributions of women, past and present, throughout Women’s History Month. We’re also supporting efforts to close the gender gap in tech and other fields. Read on for a look at what we’re doing to recognize women across media, culture, leadership and more this month.

Celebrating historical heroines

In today’s interactive slideshow Doodle, a young girl goes on an imaginary journey to meet 13 female trailblazers from throughout history. From a pilot in Egypt to a dancer in India, these women may not all be household names, but they’ve all made a unique mark on the world. In fact, all of them have been celebrated in a Doodle in the past, but often only in their countries of origin. Today, we’re sharing their stories worldwide.

IWD doodle

After your journey, learn more about all of the women in the Doodle in a new Spotlight Story from Google Arts & Culture. See the São Paulo Museum of Art, designed by Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi, or the Phoenician alphabet tablet with which Halet Cambel deciphered Hittite hieroglyphics. You can also find more exhibits on notable women from throughout history on our Women in Culture page. You might just meet a new heroine!

A day in the life of women astronauts, pilots and engineers with VR

Today’s Doodle introduces you to notable women of the past, but what about the women of today and tomorrow? With Expeditions, more than 2 million students have gone on 500+ virtual field trips to places like Machu Picchu and the International Space Station using Google Cardboard. Today we’re adding 40 new Expeditions to this collection, all focused on on the careers, adventures, and contributions of women.

NASA women

The new Expeditions highlight everyone from astronauts, airplane pilots, engineers and photographers to the female firefighters of the FDNY. They open a window into a typical day on the job—whether in a recording studio or a cockpit, explain the person’s backstory and reveal how she got to where she is today. Some also offer advice to students interested in pursuing a similar career. Download the app on iOS and Android to get started.

Recognizing inspirational women on YouTube

Rosie Rios, an inspiring woman in her own right as the 43rd Treasurer of the United States, led the efforts to put a woman on U.S. currency. That meant learning more about the hundreds of American women who made great contributions to the history of this country. Now she’s created a special playlist for YouTube Kids called “Super Women of Our Past” that introduces young people to some of these women, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Harriet Tubman to Grace Hopper.  Watch with the YouTube Kids app. You can also find other, related playlists, like “Celebrate Women’s History Month” and “Celebrate International Women’s Day.”

YouTUbe Kids playlist

YouTube is also working to turn up the volume on inspirational women’s voices through the #HerVoiceIsMyVoice campaign. We hope you’ll join by sharing a video of a woman whose voice speaks to you.

Her Voice is My Voice

Tracking screen time

GDIQ

The Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient (GD-IQ) tool uses machine learning to detect different characters on-screen, determine their gender, and calculate how often and for how long they spoke in relation to one another.

Media can play a huge part in empowering women to discover new careers, but often the characters we see on screen aren’t very diverse. Recently, our machine learning team worked with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and USC Viterbi School of Engineering to develop a new tool that uses machine learning to measure how often we see and hear women on screen. We then put the software to work, analyzing the 100 highest-grossing live-action films from the past three years. The tool revealed that men are seen and heard nearly twice as often as women. In Academy Award-winning films, women make up just 32 percent of screen time and 27 percent of speaking time. In a world where girls are only half as likely as boys to have CS role models, representation matters. Over time, we hope this project can help raise awareness of the “missing women” in media, encourage filmmakers to include a broader range of characters, and introduce young people to more diverse role models.

Coming together in the community

We’re also participating in or hosting dozens of events supporting women at Google and in tech. Last weekend we held the first of many Women Techmakers summits, which offer hands-on coding workshops on TensorFlow, networking opportunities and inspiring speakers. Women Techmakers is also sponsoring more than 140 community meetups for women in tech worldwide. Many of our 120 [email protected] employee resource group chapters are hosting events—from career development workshops to civic action weeks—in cities around the world. And at our Cloud Next event headed by Diane Greene, VP of Google Cloud, we’ll feature women leaders from Google and partners in a

The She Word: spotlighting women Googlers

There are thousands of powerful, dynamic and creative women at Google. This month, you can get to know some of them right here on the Keyword and our Instagram account, starting with Alexandrina Garcia-verdin, whose personal hero is Frida Kahlo, and Tea Uglow, who loves coffee (but not tea).

These are just a few of the women who inspire us. We hope you’ll share some of your own. Whether it’s empowering female voices as part of #HerVoiceIsMyVoice, or telling your personal story with #TodayIAm, we’re excited to hear it.

Who run the world? How we’re celebrating International Women’s Day

Lee Tai-Young was Korea’s first female lawyer and first female judge. Cecilia Grierson was the first woman to receive a medical degree in Argentina. And Ida B. Wells was a newspaper editor by age 25 and one of the founders of the NAACP. These are a few of the remarkable women you’ll meet in today’s Doodle celebrating International Women’s Day, one of several ways we’re raising awareness about the contributions of women, past and present, throughout Women’s History Month. We’re also supporting efforts to close the gender gap in tech and other fields. Read on for a look at what we’re doing to recognize women across media, culture, leadership and more this month.

Celebrating historical heroines

In today’s interactive slideshow Doodle, a young girl goes on an imaginary journey to meet 13 female trailblazers from throughout history. From a pilot in Egypt to a dancer in India, these women may not all be household names, but they’ve all made a unique mark on the world. In fact, all of them have been celebrated in a Doodle in the past, but often only in their countries of origin. Today, we’re sharing their stories worldwide.

IWD doodle

After your journey, learn more about all of the women in the Doodle in a new Spotlight Story from Google Arts & Culture. See the São Paulo Museum of Art, designed by Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi, or the Phoenician alphabet tablet with which Halet Cambel deciphered Hittite hieroglyphics. You can also find more exhibits on notable women from throughout history on our Women in Culture page. You might just meet a new heroine!

A day in the life of women astronauts, pilots and engineers with VR

Today’s Doodle introduces you to notable women of the past, but what about the women of today and tomorrow? With Expeditions, more than 2 million students have gone on 500+ virtual field trips to places like Machu Picchu and the International Space Station using Google Cardboard. Today we’re adding 40 new Expeditions to this collection, all focused on on the careers, adventures, and contributions of women.

NASA women

The new Expeditions highlight everyone from astronauts, airplane pilots, engineers and photographers to the female firefighters of the FDNY. They open a window into a typical day on the job—whether in a recording studio or a cockpit, explain the person’s backstory and reveal how she got to where she is today. Some also offer advice to students interested in pursuing a similar career. Download the app on iOS and Android to get started.

Recognizing inspirational women on YouTube

Rosie Rios, an inspiring woman in her own right as the 43rd Treasurer of the United States, led the efforts to put a woman on U.S. currency. That meant learning more about the hundreds of American women who made great contributions to the history of this country. Now she’s created a special playlist for YouTube Kids called “Super Women of Our Past” that introduces young people to some of these women, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Harriet Tubman to Grace Hopper.  Watch with the YouTube Kids app. You can also find other, related playlists, like “Celebrate Women’s History Month” and “Celebrate International Women’s Day.”

YouTUbe Kids playlist

YouTube is also working to turn up the volume on inspirational women’s voices through the #HerVoiceIsMyVoice campaign. We hope you’ll join by sharing a video of a woman whose voice speaks to you.

Her Voice is My Voice

Tracking screen time

GDIQ

The Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient (GD-IQ) tool uses machine learning to detect different characters on-screen, determine their gender, and calculate how often and for how long they spoke in relation to one another.

Media can play a huge part in empowering women to discover new careers, but often the characters we see on screen aren’t very diverse. Recently, our machine learning team worked with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and USC Viterbi School of Engineering to develop a new tool that uses machine learning to measure how often we see and hear women on screen. We then put the software to work, analyzing the 100 highest-grossing live-action films from the past three years. The tool revealed that men are seen and heard nearly twice as often as women. In Academy Award-winning films, women make up just 32 percent of screen time and 27 percent of speaking time. In a world where girls are only half as likely as boys to have CS role models, representation matters. Over time, we hope this project can help raise awareness of the “missing women” in media, encourage filmmakers to include a broader range of characters, and introduce young people to more diverse role models.

Coming together in the community

We’re also participating in or hosting dozens of events supporting women at Google and in tech. Last weekend we held the first of many Women Techmakers summits, which offer hands-on coding workshops on TensorFlow, networking opportunities and inspiring speakers. Women Techmakers is also sponsoring more than 140 community meetups for women in tech worldwide. Many of our 120 [email protected] employee resource group chapters are hosting events—from career development workshops to civic action weeks—in cities around the world. And at our Cloud Next event headed by Diane Greene, VP of Google Cloud, we’ll feature women leaders from Google and partners in a

The She Word: spotlighting women Googlers

There are thousands of powerful, dynamic and creative women at Google. This month, you can get to know some of them right here on the Keyword and our Instagram account, starting with Alexandrina Garcia-verdin, whose personal hero is Frida Kahlo, and Tea Uglow, who loves coffee (but not tea).

These are just a few of the women who inspire us. We hope you’ll share some of your own. Whether it’s empowering female voices as part of #HerVoiceIsMyVoice, or telling your personal story with #TodayIAm, we’re excited to hear it.

More ways to watch and play with AR and VR

AR and VR aren’t just for gaming; they’re also for amazing entertainment experiences that immerse you in the stuff you love like never before. Our team is at Mobile World Congress this week, and we shared a few updates. Let’s dive in.

Mobile VR: The best way to watch

We first launched Cardboard in 2014 as a simple and affordable way for everyone to try virtual reality. With only Cardboard and the smartphone in your pocket, you can travel to faraway lands, ride a roller coaster, or take a guided tour of the solar system. Today, more than 10 million Cardboard viewers have shipped worldwide. There have been 160 million downloads of Cardboard apps on Google Play—and 30 of those apps have more than 1 million downloads.

Cardboard_MWC

We’ve built Daydream with lessons learned from Cardboard. It’s more comfortable, interactive, and immersive; as a result, people are spending more time using it—about 40 minutes per week. With six Daydream-ready phones and 100 Daydream apps to explore, there are lots of devices and experiences to choose from.

People particularly love video in VR. Video-watching is the top category of entertainment on Daydream. YouTube has hundreds of thousands of 360 videos available, and it’s the top Daydream app in terms of time spent and number of users.

Announcing Sky VR

We’re also working to bring you the best premium VR video content from partners. As of today, Sky VR joins a lineup that includes Hulu, Netflix, and HBO. The Sky app showcases a range of immersive 360 videos, including from Sky’s partners like “Star Wars: Red Carpet,” “Anthony Joshua—Becoming World Champion,” and clips from Disney’s “The Jungle Book.”

SkyVR_MWC

Welcoming The Sims, Chelsea Kicker and WSJ AR to Tango

Tango technology powers devices that help you bring virtual objects into your world, and now three new augmented reality (AR) experiences are available. The Sims app lets you use your phone with Tango technology to travel around the Sims house; Chelsea Kicker puts a Chelsea football player right in your space, so you can take your picture with him or even try to best him at a few soccer tricks; and WSJ AR lets you visualize stock trends.

Sims_MWC

So whether you’re one of millions using Cardboard, or kicking back with the best games and 360 videos on Daydream, or playing soccer with Chelsea stars on Tango, you can have incredible experiences in virtual and augmented reality that are hassle-free, comfortable, and fun.

More ways to watch and play with AR and VR

AR and VR aren’t just for gaming; they’re also for amazing entertainment experiences that immerse you in the stuff you love like never before. Our team is at Mobile World Congress this week, and we shared a few updates. Let’s dive in.

Mobile VR: The best way to watch

We first launched Cardboard in 2014 as a simple and affordable way for everyone to try virtual reality. With only Cardboard and the smartphone in your pocket, you can travel to faraway lands, ride a roller coaster, or take a guided tour of the solar system. Today, more than 10 million Cardboard viewers have shipped worldwide. There have been 160 million downloads of Cardboard apps on Google Play—and 30 of those apps have more than 1 million downloads.

Cardboard_MWC

We’ve built Daydream with lessons learned from Cardboard. It’s more comfortable, interactive, and immersive; as a result, people are spending more time using it—about 40 minutes per week. With six Daydream-ready phones and 100 Daydream apps to explore, there are lots of devices and experiences to choose from.

People particularly love video in VR. Video-watching is the top category of entertainment on Daydream. YouTube has hundreds of thousands of 360 videos available, and it’s the top Daydream app in terms of time spent and number of users.

Announcing Sky VR

We’re also working to bring you the best premium VR video content from partners. As of today, Sky VR joins a lineup that includes Hulu, Netflix, and HBO. The Sky app showcases a range of immersive 360 videos, including from Sky’s partners like “Star Wars: Red Carpet,” “Anthony Joshua—Becoming World Champion,” and clips from Disney’s “The Jungle Book.”

SkyVR_MWC

Welcoming The Sims, Chelsea Kicker and WSJ AR to Tango

Tango technology powers devices that help you bring virtual objects into your world, and now three new augmented reality (AR) experiences are available. The Sims app lets you use your phone with Tango technology to travel around the Sims house; Chelsea Kicker puts a Chelsea football player right in your space, so you can take your picture with him or even try to best him at a few soccer tricks; and WSJ AR lets you visualize stock trends.

Sims_MWC

So whether you’re one of millions using Cardboard, or kicking back with the best games and 360 videos on Daydream, or playing soccer with Chelsea stars on Tango, you can have incredible experiences in virtual and augmented reality that are hassle-free, comfortable, and fun.

More ways to watch and play with AR and VR

AR and VR aren’t just for gaming; they’re also for amazing entertainment experiences that immerse you in the stuff you love like never before. Our team is at Mobile World Congress this week, and we shared a few updates. Let’s dive in.

Mobile VR: The best way to watch

We first launched Cardboard in 2014 as a simple and affordable way for everyone to try virtual reality. With only Cardboard and the smartphone in your pocket, you can travel to faraway lands, ride a roller coaster, or take a guided tour of the solar system. Today, more than 10 million Cardboard viewers have shipped worldwide. There have been 160 million downloads of Cardboard apps on Google Play—and 30 of those apps have more than 1 million downloads.

Cardboard_MWC

We’ve built Daydream with lessons learned from Cardboard. It’s more comfortable, interactive, and immersive; as a result, people are spending more time using it—about 40 minutes per week. With six Daydream-ready phones and 100 Daydream apps to explore, there are lots of devices and experiences to choose from.

People particularly love video in VR. Video-watching is the top category of entertainment on Daydream. YouTube has hundreds of thousands of 360 videos available, and it’s the top Daydream app in terms of time spent and number of users.

Announcing Sky VR

We’re also working to bring you the best premium VR video content from partners. As of today, Sky VR joins a lineup that includes Hulu, Netflix, and HBO. The Sky app showcases a range of immersive 360 videos, including from Sky’s partners like “Star Wars: Red Carpet,” “Anthony Joshua—Becoming World Champion,” and clips from Disney’s “The Jungle Book.”

SkyVR_MWC

Welcoming The Sims, Chelsea Kicker and WSJ AR to Tango

Tango technology powers devices that help you bring virtual objects into your world, and now three new augmented reality (AR) experiences are available. The Sims app lets you use your phone with Tango technology to travel around the Sims house; Chelsea Kicker puts a Chelsea football player right in your space, so you can take your picture with him or even try to best him at a few soccer tricks; and WSJ AR lets you visualize stock trends.

Sims_MWC

So whether you’re one of millions using Cardboard, or kicking back with the best games and 360 videos on Daydream, or playing soccer with Chelsea stars on Tango, you can have incredible experiences in virtual and augmented reality that are hassle-free, comfortable, and fun.