Published on May 8th, 2019 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Google Maps AR Navigation Rolls Out to Pixel Users
Augmented reality may have been slow to get to mainstream usage but when Google Maps AR rolls out to all phones that will change. Kyle Wiggers at VentureBeat reports on the Google announcement of the first public release – for Pixel phones only. AR will certainly reduce the number of people walking in the wrong direction but may increase the regular occurrences of people walking into other things as they navigate.
Image Credit: Google
Google I/O is ostensibly a developer conference, but the Mountain View company always manages to sneak in a product announcement or two. This morning during the kickoff keynote, Google announced that the augmented reality (AR) feature in Google Maps it demoed nearly a year ago — a heads-up mode that provides directions from phones’ cameras in real time — is available today in preview for the Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, and older Pixel smartphones.
AR navigation was previously only available to users enrolled in the Google Maps beta who were level 5 or above in Google’s Local Guides program. As before, it’s enabled via a server-side change and requires an ARCore- and ARKit-supported smartphone.
Maps’ AR feature works sort of like this: Tapping the Start AR button kicks off navigation, and holding up the phone reveals arrows, indicators, and a live map that guide you to your final destination. Maps gets a phone’s coarse location via GPS, and it uses Street View imagery to narrow down the exact location. Google calls this technique “global localization.”