Google Maps Starts Testing AR-Powered Navigation

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In May 2018, during its annual I/O developer conference, Google announced a new feature for its Maps mobile app, called the AR Visual Positioning System.

The AR feature is supposed to pop-ups names of surrounding businesses from the location, even has a fox guide to help the user navigate in the real-world by relying on the AR element on the map.

Google's letting a select group of people test out the feature, including the folks at The Wall Street Journal. The Maps app has a dedicated button that switches on the AR mode that opens up the camera, and starts analysing your surroundings using Street View data. Even so, the new interface won't allow you to continually use the camera for AR, and will insist that you lower the phone, where the more traditional map interface will then be displayed. It provides navigation via a layer of augmented reality, plastered over actual reality as seen through your phone's camera.

Google Maps would then compare the buildings and landmarks with the Street View data it has gathered.

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In this way, the app creates a real-time and immersive navigation for the user based on what he sees around him.

For now, it looks like only Local Guides, or community reviewers, have access to the feature. This feature will turn your screen grey, which automatically discourages your mind to engage in your phone.If you wish to try these new updates now, "Android P Beta" is available on Google Pixel and seven other flagship devices like Nokia, Vivo, OnePlus, Mi, Sony, Oppo, Essential.

Google's now testing the feature with select Local Guides in Maps, with no set date for a larger public release. Later this year, his voice will come to the Google Assistant. The company has not officially announced when the AR feature will out to all Google Maps users, with WSJ saying this will only happen when the company is sure that the feature is "ready".

For its part, Google has set out a few caveats about the new feature.