16 Mar 2019
Now, use Google Maps' AR-based directions to find your way
In a major move, Google has started testing AR-based directions in Maps, its wildly famous navigational tool.
The feature, which has started appearing on some devices, will superimpose large digital arrows over real-world images to help people navigate.
It is still an experimental project but will be available for both Android and iOS users.
Here's how it works.
AR navigation to show where to walk
Available for Google Maps' 'Walking' mode, AR navigation will help users find their way.
The feature uses ARKit or ARCore capabilities of smartphones and overlays large arrows and business listings over real-time camera view to show where you're supposed to walk and in what direction.
Put simply, it eliminates the hassle of figuring out where to walk while trying to reach a destination.
Plus, it warns when you go in the wrong direction
The feature uses AR to combine Visual Positioning Service with GPS, which can often be inaccurate in urban environments.
Also, when you'll use this feature, there's no chance of walking in the wrong direction; Maps will issue an alert to help you take the right end of the road.
It keeps showing arrowed directions but also reminds to keep the phone down for safety.
Here's how AR navigation works in Maps
Heading home like I live in the future 😂 pic.twitter.com/M7sw5ZUfYI— Owen Williams ⚡ (@ow) March 14, 2019
However, roll-out is for limited users
Google demoed this feature early last month, and now, it appears to be rolling out for the high-level members of its Local Guides program.
As 9To5Google recently reported, the roll-out is for select users as Google wants to test the working of the feature and get feedback to improve it.
To note, high-level Local Guides are those who actively post images, reviews on Maps.
Either way, the feature shows the potential of augmented reality
Maps' AR-based navigation is more of a gimmick, mainly because one has to keep the phone up for seeing directions - which could compromise the element of safety.
In its current form, the feature can be used as an option to check if you are going in the right way.
However, in future, it may be employed to work with AR glasses/headsets in full-flow.
Also, no word on wider availability
AR Navigation appears to be rolling out through a server-side update for Local Guides using Android and iOS devices. 9To5Google also spotted some signs of the feature in Google Maps 10.11, but as of now, there's no word on wider availability for regular users.