Friday, 26 April, 2019

Google Maps AR Navigation Testing Begins, Coming to Select Users Soon

Google Maps- Augmented Reality The Wall Street Journal
Cecil Davis | 11 February, 2019, 15:54

Engadget reports that Google Maps AR navigation is going to be rolling out to Local Guides first - i.e., those people who like to write reviews and submit them to Google Maps - and that the system still needs some testing before it will hit universal availability.

While navigation by way of Google Maps is, for the most part, a smooth process for pedestrians, there's usually an awkward moment of failed orientation when you first start the feature and try and line yourself up with the little blue dot.

Google introduced a new augmented reality (AR) mode for Maps at I/O 2018 and it was one of the biggest crowd-pleasers at the keynote a year ago.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the feature is being tested by a small group of beta users before it'll get rolled out to global users of the application. It provides navigation via a layer of augmented reality, plastered over actual reality as seen through your phone's camera.

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"While it isn't likely to be your primary turn-by-turn option, it's a huge step in the right direction for Google Maps", Pierce said.

Tech giants like Apple, Facebook, Google, North, Vuzix and others have all been working on, or are selling their own AR glasses, meaning that Google's new feature could eventually make its way into your line of sight, the report added. The app then superimposes arrows on to the real world to show where you have to head next. However, users need not look at their smartphones constantly. To ensure it doesn't consume your battery and data allowance-and for safety reasons-users will be reminded to lower their phone if it's been held up too long.

He described how the feature worked - the app picks up a person's location via Global Positioning System (GPS), and then uses Street View data to narrow it down to the exact location. The idea is to help users with short-term directions.