• vikas patwal

Google Maps AR(Augmented reality) navigation testing begins

A long-awaited feature is finally arriving in Google Maps.  It is available only to selected users now. Google had introduced the new feature in  May 2018, during its annual I/O developer conference. The new feature is for its Maps mobile app, called the AR visual positioning system.  The feature is first made available to a few select Local Guides. They will serve as the first testers to help Google refine the product for its public debut.

Google's augmented reality Maps are live for some users

At last year’s I/O developer’s conference, Google showed off a new augmented reality feature for Google Maps, which would provide people with directions from your phone’s camera in real-time. It provides navigation via a layer of augmented reality, plastered over actual reality as seen through your phone's camera. To use it, you lift the phone in front of your eyes and the software gives you directions via arrows which show where you need to go. 

David Pierce from The Wall Street Journal got hands-on experience of the AR navigation feature. He says,

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

He described how the feature worked. The app picks up a person's location via the Global Positioning System (GPS) and then uses Street View data to narrow it down to the exact location. It displayed big arrows and directions in the screen after it pinned down his location.

Google has been experimenting with the user interface, finding that users will follow a line on the ground too closely and that an animated guide will keep them glued to the screen.

The feature is rolling out to “Local Guides” for feedback. Local Guides are a group of users who contribute reviews, photos, and places while helping Google fact check location information for early access to features like this.

Alas, Google told Tech Crunch repeatedly that they have no idea when it’ll roll out beyond that group.

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