Google Maps is constantly adding features lately, with 2018 being the year of nonstop updates and additions to the mobile app. The latest to be added is an experimental feature only rolling out to select local guides, and it’s not exactly useful, but it’s an amazing look into the future.
This feature is AR navigation, which combines walking navigation with augmented reality. Once you go outside and fire it up, you’re met with the view of your camera with a small map below it. Icons show you where you’re going, and if there’s a turn coming up, there will be big arrows floating on walls. Tilting your phone down goes back to the traditional view, and Google flashes warnings at you to keep your phone down while you’re walking.
You’ll need to be an accomplished Local guide and get invited to try this feature out and your device must support ARCore, but it’s a fascinating insight into Google’s work in AR and what AR apps may look like in the future. It’s an amazing feature to try out and play with, but not something most people would often use. AR navigation is more of a gimmick than anything (although I do admit big signs where to go on the environment itself can be nice to have). However, it proves that AR is far more than just fun feature in games.
You can check out Google Maps AR navigation in the video below.