Google’s Augmented Reality Maps

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Google’s Augmented Reality Maps


Augmented Reality along with Virtual Reality has been massively hyped over the last few years but despite its huge potential it has still only hit the mainstream on a few occasions (e.g. Pokemon Go and Snapchat Filters).

Now it looks like Google is preparing to release a useful AR feature to the masses.

Last May, Google announced that a new feature was coming to the Google Maps app called AR Visual Positioning System.

This feature gives the navigation tool a layer of augmented reality and it is now in beta testing stages with “Local Guides” (high active Google Maps users).

Google posted a statement saying -

“We’re starting to test this feature with select Local Guides, a small group of Google Maps enthusiasts around the world who we know will offer us the feedback about how this approach can be most helpful. Like other AI-driven camera experiences such as Google Lens (which uses the camera to let you search what you see), we believe the ability to overlay directions over the real-world environment offers an exciting and useful way to use the technology that already exists in your pocket.”

According to reports from Local Guides who have tested out the new feature, they say it’s extremely accurate unlike GPS.

To use the feature, all you need to do is hold the phone up in front of you and the software will give you directions using arrows which will point in the direction of where you need to go. The camera will also recognise landmarks through the AR feature.

It will also darken the screen when you’ve been holding your phone up in front of your face for too long to save the battery life and reverts to the usual map when you put the phone down.

Unfortunately, the AR Visual Positioning System isn’t likely to be released to the general public until Google is satisfied with the feature which may take a while, but we can expect to see it on Google Maps at some point in 2019.

Luke Stanley