Google Started Testing AR-powered Maps with its Local Guides

IndraStra Global

Google Started Testing AR-powered Maps with its Local Guides

By IndraStra Global News Team

Google Started Testing AR-powered Maps with its Local Guides

According to the latest reports, Google has started testing a new Augmented Reality (AR)-powered navigation system within Google Maps with a small group of "Local Guides". It uses a smartphone's backside camera and overlay the turn-by-turn directional data on Google Map's Street View interface. The company's Aparna Chennapragada, Senior Director - Products, previewed this new system at last year's Google I/O 2018. 

The Wall Street Journal's Personal Tech Columnist Mr. David Pierce did the testing of an early version of Google's AR mapping features by taking an augmented walk in San Francisco.

"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. He further added, "it’s a feature that isn’t likely to remain on phones but on AR-capable glasses."

Once the user's location is fetched via a global positioning system (GPS), this new feature starts overlaying the navigational instruction by comparing the shots displayed through camera's viewfinder (provided by user's smartphone) with Google Street View shots.

Google Started Testing AR-powered Maps with its Local Guides

The maps could be seen on the lower half of the screen while the top half-navigates the real-world surroundings of the user via "indicative (blinking) large arrows". Also, the app warns the user to put the phone down, and only check the directions momentarily. This is supposed to prevent the user from constantly looking at the display while walking or running  — possibly putting himself/herself in danger.

Google Started Testing AR-powered Maps with its Local Guides

 The release date for this new feature is yet to be announced by the company.