Enhanced Reality in Google Maps navigation

Enhanced Reality in Google Maps navigation

Real image is combined with directional hints - test run with selected testers should start soon One of the most impressive demos from last year's Google I / O conference is now becoming a reality. Google launches the tests for its augmented reality navigation in the map service maps. The "Wall Street Journal" was already able to take a look at the new feature in advance, and can already come up with their own impressions.


As the term augmented reality already suggests, the environment is captured using the camera and enriched with navigation information displayed on the smartphone screen. Arrows then indicate, approximately above the real events, where to go next. Also street names and the respective end point are visualized

Google Maps not only relies on the GPS information of the smartphone, but also tries to detect objects in the environment - such as landmarks or other buildings - to accurately determine the position, and to place the information correctly. In doing so, they resort to data obtained from Street View. Google calls this type of orientation "visual positioning system

Last but not least, the software vendor sees this as an aid to navigating the beginning of a route, where many users have problems picking up the correct direction, for example, when they come straight from the subway. However, Google does not recommend continuous use across the entire route. In fact, it is even advised that the app will warn the user not to hold up the smartphone all the time. This saves energy on the one hand, the AR mode consumes a lot of resources and is automatically deactivated when the smartphone is lowered. In addition, Google wants to prevent but also that here Map users inadvertently run into other people

It can be assumed that Google does not just develop the AR navigation mode by looking at smartphones anyway. Such a feature would not last for AR glasses or as an overlay on the windshield of a vehicle

The big question with all this, however, remains when this feature will also be available to the masses. At the moment, Google just says that you want to test the feature first with a select group of Local Guides, ie those who actively contribute to the improvement of Google Maps through reviews and corrections. Only if one is really satisfied with the AR navigation, then it should then be made generally available, it is said vaguely

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