Google Maps’ new AR feature recognises buildings puts users in the map

The real life Street View! Google is testing an AR feature that places directions over your camera’s view of your surroundings using recognisable landmarks to navigate in real time

  • Users can point the phone at what they see and app will locate their positioning
  • The app scans landmarks and overlays information on top of the street view
  • Together with the GPS the new feature is more accurate and works in real-time 
  • It will only be available to loyal Google reviewers and not the wider public yet

Google could is adding a new augmented reality (AR) feature to Google Maps that puts users in street view to navigate their surroundings in real-time through their smartphone.

The new app will use the phone’s lens to scan buildings and landmarks and direct users based on what they see in front of them, rather than by looking at the blue dot on a Google map. 

The feature will be tested by a few members of Google’s Local Guides community who earn points by writing Google reviews.

No dates have been set for making it widely available to Map users. 

Google could soon be adding a new augmented reality (AR) feature to Google Maps so puts the user in street view and navigate their surroundings in real-time.

The new app will use the phone’s lens to scan buildings and landmarks and direct users based on what they see in front of them rather than by looking at the blue dot is on a Google map.

The feature will be tested by a few members of Google’s Local Guides community who earn points by writing Google reviews. No dates have been set for making it widely available to Map users.

The new AR Street map feature was shown in a demo video made by the Wall Street Journal yesterday, which seemed to have exclusive access to the update. 

The video shows the user holding up his phone while in Google Maps and the camera scanning what it sees in front of the phone. 

Once the landmarks have been recognised by Google Maps and is locked through the GPS system, information about those landmarks appear on the screen. 


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The new AR Street map feature was shown in a demo video made by the Wall Street Journal yesterday, which seemed to have exclusive access to the update.

The video shows the user holding up his phone while in Google Maps and the camera scanning what it sees in front of the phone.

The option to use AR is via a ‘Start AR’ button in the Map app main screen. The real-time feature is however not intended to be on at all times, as it drains battery and the app even reminds the user to turn the feature off once it knows where to go. (Credit: WSJ)

According to David Pierce of the WSJ who tried out the system, the app starts scanning what it sees when you turn on the AR option in the Google Maps app and point your phone at what you see.

The option to use AR is via a ‘Start AR’ button in the Map app main screen. 

The real-time feature is however not intended to be on at all times, as it drains battery and the app even reminds the user to turn the feature off once it knows where to go.  

The announcement for the AR navigation system was made at the annual Google conference Google I/O 2018 last May. 

No date had been set for the testing phase or wider launch.

The feature will likely also be available through AR glasses in the future. 

The announcement for the AR navigation system was made at the annual Google conference Google I/O 2019 last May. No date had been set for the testing phase or wider launch.

The feature will likely also be available through AR glasses in the future although no date has yet been given for when it will be readily available to download for phone users or made more widely available. 

If you move the camera, information about new landmarks such as cafes and supermarkets can pop up, with the ratings that Map users are familiar with. 

If the user has asked for directions, big arrows showing the user the direction to walk in is overlaid on the buildings on screen.

In this way, the app creates a real-time and immersive navigation for the user based on what he sees around him.    

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE FUTURE OF GOOGLE MAPS? 

Google is working on some nifty new features for Google Maps, including a short list of your favourite places, and a ‘virtual positioning system’ that has just been unveiled 

Assistant is coming to Google Maps in a big way, with a ton of new shortcuts, as well as the ability for the digital assistant to text your friend when you’re on your way.

Google is rolling out a tool called ‘Your Match’, which uses machine learning to determine your location and interests, serving up targeted suggestions for new businesses opening up in your area and more. 

From there, users can create a shortlist of their favorite destinations that they can share with their friends. 

And Google could soon roll out a new version of maps that addresses an age-old issue where you’re unable to figure out which way is North or South.

Instead, a new version of Maps would use Google Lens to show you on-screen which way to go, as well as insert a playful assistant, in this case a fox, to help guide you on your way.    

 

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