Google Maps' new AR feature will help you navigate indoors
Google Maps' brand new augmented reality-powered feature will help users navigate indoor areas like airports and malls in a pinch. The Indoor Live View feature overlays graphics like directions, arrows and icons over a camera-view of indoor spaces. Google says the feature will help users find everything from baggage claim at airports to directions to a store on a certain floor in a mall.
The Indoor Live View feature will not use Global Positioning System (GPS) but rather artificial intelligence and Google's expansive library of Street View images to provide directions. To use the feature, the user holds up their phone so the app can match details about landmarks with visuals the app has already captured. Machine learning is used to match details.
Google said it is first testing the features in some malls in Chicago, Long Island, New York, Los Angeles, Newark, New Jersey, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. In the coming months, the internet giant will also launch the features in airports, malls, and transit stations in Tokyo and Zurich. Other cities and locations will eventually support the feature, the company said.
The company asserts it is also trying out a link-up between Kroger-owned supermarket Fred Meyer and its existing curb-side grocery pick-up with Google Maps. The app could continuously intimate the store about a customer's estimated arrival time and allow them to check in through the app when they arrive. The pilot will run this summer in some stores in Portland, Oregon.
Google Maps is also working on the addition of a new weather layer and a feature that informs the user of the air quality at any given place. The application is also set to build a new routing model that suggests routes with an emphasis on lower fuel consumption, determined by factors such as road incline and traffic congestion.