Google Now for Android Will Automatically Remember Where You Parked
While people worry about privacy doing tricks like this is all about your machines tracking you, and guessing the meaning of your daily motions through the contextual sense of multiple sensors.
If Google can do this then they can know when you get to your garage, and if there were an interface API for Genie garage door openers… well you get where this is going.
Here’s a fun new trick that Google just patched into Google Now, the company’s card-based personal assistant: it can now keep track of where you parked. While there are plenty of apps out there that can help you remember your parking space, they all require you to open them and save your spot manually. In contrast, Google’s parking tracker will save your parking location automatically. First noticed by Android Police, the new feature is part of Google Search 3.4, which is rolling out out to Android devices running 4.1 and above right now.
Google Now automatically detects your parking spot through Android’s Activity Recognition system, a feature Google released at Google I/O 2013. Activity Recognition uses a mashup of GPS, Wi-Fi, cell tower location, compass, accelerometer, gyro, and barometer data to try and figure out what the user is doing. By using all the sensor data available to a smartphone, Activity Recognition can detect if the user is walking, driving, cycling, or sitting still, and it can trigger apps to do something when a change is detected. If Google Now detects that the user has gone from driving to walking, the car has most likely been parked, and pinging the GPS to save your location would be a good idea. All of this happens silently in the background without the user having to do anything.