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Google launches new service in Brighton and Hove
Businesses are giving customers the chance to browse their firms from thousands of miles away.
Google has launched a new service in which Brighton and Hove companies can give their customers a full 360 degree virtual experience.
The new Google Business Photos service launched in the city yesterday (June 21) and several city centre shops have already signed up.
Internet users will be able to take a virtual stroll around the shops while using Street View.
A souvenir shop on the Palace Pier, a Hove restaurant and a North Laine boutique, are among the first to sign up.
Misha Bridemrhane, director of Rose Hill Boutique, in Kensington Gardens, said: “We thought it was a good idea because Google is the most-used search engine.
“Kensington Gardens isn’t on Street View, so it’s nice for people to be able to see the shop.
“We don’t offer online sales so it gives customers the chance to see what we have.”
While taking an interactive stroll along the Palace Pier visitors to the city will be able to peruse the shelves of the Rich and Famous souvenir shop.
Diners will also be able to scope out the best tables at the Graze restaurant in Western Road, Hove.
Google has appointed two local photographers, Neil Shaw and Charles Mansfield-Osborne, to take panoramic shots at businesses across the city.
The virtual tours will then be visible online by using the search engine on Google Maps and can be embedded into companies’ own websites.
Mr Shaw said: “In many ways it is the Google window into a business.
“It will provide customers with a unique perspective on businesses like bars, restaurants, shops and hairdressers, allowing them to interact in a way that was not previously possible, from the comfort of their homes or convenience of a hand-held device.
“Imagine how great it would be being able to walk down a virtual street, and also walk into virtual restaurants to plan your visit.”