Augmented reality arrives in Google Maps

Announced in 2018, augmented reality will gradually land in Google Maps. For the moment, some users, handpicked, can try it. It’s promising.

Google has just released a new version of its Maps navigation application, distributed to a few lucky ones. It has a whole new function thanks to the integration of augmented reality. Now, the app uses the smartphone screen to add a layer of information over the real world.

Google had already announced the addition of augmented reality at the Google I / O conference in May 2018. However, this new feature will not be available to the general public right away. Only a few “local guides”, large users of the application, have received the advance access update.

A much more precise navigation

Wall Street Journal’s David Pierce was one of the first to test the new feature. Simply point the smartphone camera in one direction, press a button, and Maps attempts to identify the surrounding buildings for a precise location. It then displays the direction to take directly over the streets or facades of buildings. It can even add Google Maps markers (shops, administrations, monuments …) directly on the surrounding buildings.

Normally, the application uses GPS , mobile connection and Wi-Fi networks to calculate the actual position, which can lead to small errors. With augmented reality, Maps uses visual data from the camera to improve accuracy. No more going in the wrong direction when coming out of the subway, the direction is displayed in the real world through the screen.