Google Maps AR navigation feature now available for some users

Google Will Soon Show Directions Via Yr Camera Like Informative ‘Pokémon GO

Pierce notes that the interface he previewed could change, and that Google isn't saying when the feature will roll out to users, just that it'll be available to "a few Local Guides" soon, and "will come to everyone only when the company is satisfied that it's ready".

While navigation by way of Google Maps is, for the most part, a smooth process for pedestrians, there's usually an awkward moment of failed orientation when you first start the feature and try and line yourself up with the little blue dot.

More specifically, this new feature uses imagery from your camera along with location data to match your position via Google Street View, and with this information, is able to overlay visual cues such as arrows on your live camera feed.

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Integrating this with Google Maps allow for augmented reality (AR) additions like floating arrows pointing you to the direction you need to head to. Describing his experience, he wrote, "It was as if Maps had drawn my directions onto the real world, though nobody else could see them".

That said, it looks like it won't be taking over as the standard method of using Google Maps. And so this new experience actually warns you to put your phone down, and only check the directions momentarily. The key point here is that, using AR, it will better know which way you are looking, without having to rely on the often hit and miss compass. On the bottom of the screen, you can find regular overhead maps. The AR system asks the user to move his/her phone around to determine the exact location. As it's not just a great idea, but also may be risky. To ensure it doesn't consume your battery and data allowance-and for safety reasons-users will be reminded to lower their phone if it's been held up too long. This move is also created to conserve battery power (and likely your sanity). Google also cautions that the feature is to be used for directions while walking and not to be used while driving, due to obvious distractions.

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