Last year, Google gave us all a preview of their plans to implement AR into Google Maps, and now they have finally released the new and improved application for selected users!
How many times have you had to walk one way for your map to eventually tell you that you’re walking in the wrong direction… Now, with the new and improved Google Maps, this is an issue of the past!
So, how does it work?
The app works by picking up the user’s location via GPS, then uses street view data to find your exact location.
It’s simple to use, all you have to do is lift the phone in front of you, and the software will register where you are, and arrows will appear on your screen telling you where to go.
Yes, the new update will be a great feature, but it doesn’t come without its issues!
Firstly, it won’t be available for everyone. For example, if you’re driving it is difficult to use the camera function; not everyone will have a phone that is compatible with the software; it could become a safety risk having people ‘glued’ to their phones, relying on arrows telling them where to go.
Rachel Inman, the lead of Google Maps AR project, has said that Google AR is not to be used as a primary navigation tool. It is to be used if you’re struggling to find a hidden alley or can’t determine what direction you need to go by just using the map.
After testing the AR maps out, Google discovered that users tend to follow a line on the ground too closely, and often appear stuck to their phone which could cause many issues as users may not look where they’re going, crossing a street as they’re so focused on their screen.
However, Google deals with this by restricting people from using the camera persistently and urges them to put it down after a period of time by displaying the map interface. Inman said that the AR function should be used for moments like ‘I’m getting off the subway, where do I go first?’.
This is a big step for Google and is only the start of businesses implementing AR!
I wonder who will impress us all next?
It starts with a
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