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Finally, Google Maps is deploying its augmented reality navigation to a broader audience. The feature was first announced at Google I/O 2018, private testing started in February, at Google I/O 2019 it began for Pixel phones. As the feature begins beta on Android devices and iPhones, regular users are now given access to AR navigation.
The AR navigation feature is called “Live View,” which is designed to assist you while walking. GPS is useful for locating your location on a map, but GPS does not determine which path to take.
To aid in this, phones have built-in compasses to, show where you’re heading but mobile compasses do not usually work accurately, particularly on Android phones.
Compasses detect the magnetic field of the Earth. While it’s great when you’ve got a regular analogue compass, setting up a compass into a smartphone along with other components hamper an accurate reading as opposed to using actual magnets.
For instance, it’s not helpful to watch your compass rotate aimlessly in a circle while you’re going outside a building and simply want to know if your first step is left or right.
Google Maps Live View casts out all the compass things and takes the cameras and sensors in direction. Google calls it “VPS” or the visual positioning system.
The GPS of your phone narrows down your location, you point your camera to your surroundings, and Google matches the camera footage to the multitude of visual data from things like Street View.
This provides VPS with your position and heading in 3D space, provided Google has your location information, which makes it much more precise than a compass.
As you open the camera, a super cool augmented reality interface can be displayed with it. Google overlays the camera feed on the map and connects the camera feed to directional arrows.
Early experiments have shown a virtual character, but unfortunately, in the final version, there is no guide mode.
Google is rolling out the new Maps feature to “Android and iOS devices that support ARCore and ARKit.”
- Anirudh is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Clickdotme. He does not like describing himself in the third-person and had a hard time coming up with these two sentences!
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