Google Maps AR navigation has almost reached its final destination - your phone

Google Maps Starts Testing AR-Powered Navigation

It's like Street View for navigation. Google isn't expecting you to use this feature throughout the entire guidance but rather wants you to navigate complex intersections more easily. The company originally introduced the AR navigation feature at a developers conference a year ago. You can't use the AR view consistently; the app will ask you to put the phone down after awhile.

According to David Pierce of the WSJ who tried out the system, the app starts scanning what it sees when you turn on the AR option in the Google Maps app and point your phone at what you see.

Back in May, Google showcased an innovative navigation system that leveraged the phone's camera to provide augmented reality GPS guidance.

But that's about to change with the new AR Mode coming to Google Maps, which was annnounced at Google I/O in May and is now being tested by select Google Maps users.

The new AR Street map feature was shown in a demo video made by the Wall Street Journal yesterday, which seemed to have exclusive access to the update. It looks like the feature is almost ready to be rolled out to the masses, as reports indicate a handful of users already have access to it.

In this way, the app creates a real-time and immersive navigation for the user based on what he sees around him. Combining the camera to Maps will make finding locations easier.

When Google had shown the AR feature, the idea was that AR will help place the user more accurately on the Maps. It is important to note that these AR features conserve significant amount of battery and mobile data.

Every year Google hosts an event for developers called Google I/O.

Though Google is yet to announce the launch date of the AR feature, the report said that it will be launched "only when Google is satisfied that it's ready".

Something to look forward to: Have you ever found yourself frustrated with Google Maps, walking the wrong way when the blue dot thinks you're somewhere else?

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