Google Maps tests AR navigation, feature available to limited users

Google Maps tests AR navigation, feature available to limited users

Engadget reports that Google Maps AR navigation is going to be rolling out to Local Guides first - i.e., those people who like to write reviews and submit them to Google Maps - and that the system still needs some testing before it will hit universal availability.

As pointed out this feature was first shown at Google's I/O developer conference last year in May 2018, but has not officially rolled out, and it has been close to a year since it was announced.

The new navigation system uses your camera to provide directions using augmented reality.

Firing up Google Maps to figure out where to go is set to get a lot easier with a new feature the company is now testing. In the meantime, Maps users will have to make do with the traditional map view.

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He described how the feature worked - the app picks up a person's location via Global Positioning System (GPS), and then uses Street View data to narrow it down to the exact location.

Locations compatible with the new feature will have a new "Start AR" button alongside the standard "Directions". The real-time feature is however not meant to be on at all times, as it drains battery and the app even reminds the user to turn the feature off once it knows where to go. Once his location was pinned down, it displayed big arrows and directions in his screen, the report said on Saturday. Although the version the WSJ tested isn't final, it helps us get a better idea of what's coming up. It is important to note that these AR features conserve significant amount of battery and mobile data.

The feature will likely also be available through AR glasses in the future although no date has yet been given for when it will be readily available to download for phone users or made more widely available. Once done, the Google Maps will guide you.

And Google could soon roll out a new version of maps that addresses an age-old issue where you're unable to figure out which way is North or South.

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