The original Live View concept that Google demonstrated at I / O 2018 saw the application sign “Maps” and overlaid information in the real world. It was a richer AR experience that wasn’t limited to just walking directions. Google is now two years old and is preparing to make that original vision a reality.
At the end of the search in 2020, Google announced that it would provide “helpful information about a location right in Live View”. The brief demo showed pens floating over locations that first identify what type of business or restaurant a location is. This description follows whether it is open and when it is closed.
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These overlays build on Google Maps and already show AR-like placemarks in Street View. The typable annotations identify the type of business – much like the overhead cards – and allow you to “easily get more information about the places you are exploring”. As we discovered in June:
It displays street-level business information so you can easily access phone numbers and photos. The functionality builds on annotations for museum graphics in 2017 and will be introduced in Google Maps for Android and on the web.
This laid the foundation for Live View, and this function was introduced “in the coming months”.
I / O 2018
In early October, Google announced how the feature would overlay nearby landmarks to aid AR navigation. Live View allows you to calibrate your current location and orientation. There’s also now a location sharing feature that lets you find friends instead of places using live view. You can also access it without entering full navigation mode for faster interactions.
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