Last year, Google announced that it was actively testing pedestrian navigation in augmented reality maps.
Developer tests have turned into a beta version that can be tested by multiple users. Beta testers are selected by Google based on their activity on Google Maps. We use this application very often, for all types of navigation and even though we are often angry (this is for a separate article), we like it. So, based on our activity, we were given the opportunity to test the beta version of pedestrian navigation using augmented reality. It is a very simple and interesting solution that will help you orient yourself perfectly even in a completely foreign city.
It all works very easily and starts by accepting an invitation from Google right in the Google Maps application. Then everything is ready to use. How to do it? Just enter the destination you want to reach, select pedestrian navigation, and then click Live View at the bottom of the menu. At this point, the camera that activates this feature will be activated and you will be prompted to point the camera at houses and street signs.
The application captures the surroundings, finds out the exact location, and starts navigating. With the help of the camera, you can see the reality into which the navigation instructions are inserted and at the bottom of the screen you can see the classic map with the selected route – in this case, it is almost impossible to get lost. Navigation works very accurately and without any problems.
Look ahead! Google will also warn you about this, as it’s not completely safe to look only at your phone while walking. You only have to watch when you change direction and so on.Google has a great solution – if you hold the phone horizontally, the classic map is displayed, when you lift the phone in front of you ( vertically ), the display immediately switches to augmented reality. Simple and real functional.
We tried pedestrian navigation with the help of augmented reality in various cities (Bratislava, Prague, etc.) and we can say that it works very well. You will appreciate this feature especially in large cities, where orientation is a bit more difficult – you will never get lost again.
Important information at the end. The Live View feature in Google Maps will only be supported by devices with sufficient performance, resp. support for AR-Core (Android) and AR-Kit (iPhone/iPad). You can find a list of supported devices – HERE.