Walk the Great Wall of China in Google’s Latest Virtual Tour

If your pandemic-related precautions still prevent you from traveling but you’d like to take a trip somewhere far away, then how about diving into the latest virtual tour from Google Arts & Culture?

The Street View-style experience features a 360-degree virtual tour of one of the best-preserved sections of the Great Wall, which in its entirety stretches for more than 13,000 miles — about the round-trip distance between Los Angeles and New Zealand.

A section of China’s Great Wall. Google Arts & Culture

The new virtual tour includes 370 high-quality images of the Great Wall, together with 35 stories offering an array of architectural details about the world-famous structure.

“It’s a chance for people to experience parts of the Great Wall that might otherwise be hard to access, learn more about its rich history, and understand how it’s being preserved for future generations,” Google’s Pierre Caessa wrote in a blog post announcing the new content.

The wall was used to defend against various invaders through the ages and took more than 2,000 years to build. The structure is often described as “the largest man-made project in the world.”

But climate conditions and human activities have seen a third of the UNESCO World Heritage site gradually crumble away, though many sections of the wall are now being restored so that it can be enjoyed and appreciated for years to come.

Google Arts & Culture has been steadily adding to its library of virtual tours, which can be enjoyed on mobile and desktop devices. The collection includes the The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks and an immersive exploration of some the world’s most remote and historically significant places.

If you’re looking for more content along the same lines, then check out these virtual-tour apps that transport you to special locations around the world, and even to outer space.

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Tech News

Sonos and Ikea’s next Symfonisk speaker may double as wall art

Sonos and Ikea’s Symfonisk line has been pretty popular due to their quirky looks and surprisingly good sound — showing that even lamps can make for good speakers.

Now it appears the companies are following up their partnership with an updated table lamp and a new product altogether. According to The Verge, Ikea and Sonos are preparing to launch a speaker that doubles as wall art.

Ikea teased the updated Symfonisk speakers on its Instagram account, although it didn’t say what specifically was coming. The new speakers, however, show up in FCC listings.

The Verge says it’s seen an early image of the wall art speaker, which is codenamed Titan, but it’s not clear at the moment if the speaker guts can be separate from the wall art.

One would hope that’s the case; it would suck to have to buy a whole new speaker just to change up the looks in your apartment. It would make a lot more sense for the artwork to essentially serve as a glorified speaker grille – protecting the drivers while looking pretty.

There’s no word on when these speakers will come to light, but given Ikea’s Instagram tease, it probably won’t be too much longer.

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Published April 7, 2021 — 00:53 UTC

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