Erica Flores

Google is allowing some users to test its navigation function …

At last year’s I / O developer conference, Google showed off a new augmented reality feature for Google Maps, which would provide people with directions from their phone’s camera in real time. As my colleague Chaim Gartenberg pointed out, it’s a bit as promised with Google Glass, but without the earpiece. the Wall street journalDavid Pierce had to test an older version of the feature.

He says that while “it is not likely to be your main step-by-step option, it is a big step in the right direction for Google Maps.” He outlined how the feature worked: The app selects a person’s location via GPS and then uses Street View data to narrow it down to your exact location. Once its location was fixed, it displayed large arrows and directions on its screen. “It was as if Maps had directed my directions to the real world, although no one else could see them.”

The application is not designed as the main means of navigation

It goes on to say that the app doesn’t seem to allow you to use the camera persistently, urging you to drop it in a moment and show its usual map interface when you do. Rachel Inman, the company’s user experience leader, tells him that “it’s for those moments like ‘I’m getting off the subway, where do I go first?’

Google has reportedly been experimenting with the user interface, finding that users will follow a line on the ground very closely and that an animated guide will keep them glued to the screen. Pierce notes that the interface that got the preview could change, and that Google is not saying when the feature will roll out to users, only that it will soon be available to “some local guides”, and “will reach everyone only when Google is satisfied. it’s ready. “

Pierce notes that there are a couple of takeaways from this. The first is that a big advantage of the feature is that it provides people with very specific location location data, and it is a feature that is not likely to stay on phones, but rather on AR-capable glasses. Companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, North, Vuzix, and others have been working on or selling their own AR glasses, which means Google’s new feature could hit your line of sight.