Google Maps Beats Out Apple in AR navigation

An augmented reality feature or AR feature has been incorporated in Google Maps. Under the name Live View, the AR system captures live video from your phone camera and implements navigation tools on top of it, giving you a better idea on where to turn based on what you identify with the naked eye.

A patent was filed from Apple that describes much of the same navigation overlay on a captures camera footage. Apple has always been behind with its Maps app, and it’s looking like they lost out on being the first to implement AR tech.

The Apple patent

Apple has been developing an AR feature that works for vehicles. The camera picks up real footage and navigational tools like directions, street names, and your speed is inserted into the feed in real-time.

The phone is mounted on your dash, above the steering wheel. This gives all your navigational info while allowing you to also monitor traffic by looking at your device. This has been done for practicality as well as safety reasons. As the top-down view of conventional maps restricts the user’s awareness of what is happening on the road.

AR view in Google Maps

Google Maps’ AR feature currently works for pedestrians only. Time will tell if they will implement a tool for vehicles. But knowing Google, they will do that soon enough. This is how the feature works:

  • Lookup a destination or tap a location on the map
  • Select the Directions button
  • Select Walking directions
  • Select the Live View option, and you’re done

If you have ever tried to navigate through a 700-year-old Italian town, then you will love the AR feature for pedestrian navigation in Google Maps. The AR tech has already been tested by some Google Pixel users as well as local contributors. The official Android rollout for Live View will begin in the following days.

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