Mapping and navigation apps work pretty well at the moment and does a great job of helping us getting from point A to point B. However sometimes these apps can lack certain subtleties as most of the time, such apps focus on a macro view. This is something that Google is hoping to change by introducing augmented reality to Google Maps.
According to reports, it appears that Google is now testing out augmented reality with Google Maps. This isn’t exactly new because it was actually announced back at Google I/O in 2018, but now it looks like the feature is finally ready for public testing. What this feature does is that by using your smartphone’s camera, it will overlay additional information while you attempt to navigate to your destination.
The Wall Street Journal’s David Pierce managed to get an early hands-on with the feature where based on the screenshots we’re seeing, it seems to be a combination of a map overlay and Street View which should hopefully provide users with more context when trying to find a location. Note that this design might not be the final design as Google is still experimenting with the user interface.
Pierce also reveals that the AR feature of Google Maps won’t be a persistent feature, meaning that it won’t be on all the time. According to Rachel Inman, the user-experience lead at Google, “it’s for those moments like, ‘I’m getting off the subway, where do I go first?’” There is no word on when the feature will be made available to all, but it is expected to find its way into select “Local Guides” first before eventually finding its way to all users once Google is satisfied with it.
Source: The Wall Street Journal