‘Night Tour’ will rent you a Google Pixel for astrophotography

‘Night Tour’ will rent you a Google Pixel for astrophotography


Stargazing increasingly requires that you travel a good distance away from lights. In Japan, Google is presenting a “Night Tour” event where you go to a ticketed location and can rent a Pixel for astrophotography.

Achi Village in the Nagano Prefecture is home to a site that’s located at an altitude of 1,400 meters and requires taking a gondola ride that lasts 15 minutes. It’s said to be “the best place for stargazing in Japan.”

For the upcoming stargazing season (from December 24, 2022 to March 26, 2023), “Google Pixel” and Japanese carrier SoftBank are “presenting” this “Night Tour.” The location is already ticketed, but the first 100 people can now get a “special package plan that allows you to rent a set of smartphone “Google Pixel”, winter clothes, and a tripod for free to take pictures of the starry sky.”

Average tickets start from $15 with various windowing periods, while it’s not clear which Pixel generation — presumably the 7 Pro — is rented out. Another question is how photos, which could easily be in the gigabytes, are transferred at the end of the night. Some sort of Google Drive or Photos solution would be the most ideal.

It’s a pretty good idea for all parties involved, and could be replicated in other locations that provide good stargazing on a regular basis. Meanwhile, this is a good way for Google (and carrier partners) to promote Night Sight on the Pixel. 

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