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Home / SmartTech / Hands-on with Alpha build of Google Maps' Augmented Reality mode – TechCrunch

Hands-on with Alpha build of Google Maps' Augmented Reality mode – TechCrunch

Google Maps to figure out which way you're going to go

Maybe the little blue dot was not actually in the right place yet. Maybe your phone's compass is bugging out and facing the wrong direction because of 30-story buildings.

Google Maps' work-in-progress augmented reality mode wants to end that scenario, drawing arrows and signage on your camera's right side. exactly exactly where you stand, even when your GPS and / or compass might be a little

A little glimpse of what it looks like in action:

Google first announced AR walking directions about nine months ago at its I / O conference, but has been pretty quiet about it since. Much of that time has been spent figuring out the subtleties of the user interface. If they are a specific route on the ground, early users tried to stand directly on top of the line when walking, even if it was not necessary or safe. They are 'following floating trash'.

[19659002] The Maps team has learned that they do not want to keep their phone up very long. The whole experience has come to short bursts – in fact, if you hold up the camera for too long, the app will tell you to stop.

Firing up AR mode feels like starting up any other Google Maps trip. … but instead of "Start", you tap the new "Start AR" button.

A view from your camera appears on screen, and the camera asks you to point the camera at buildings across the street. As you do so, a bunch of dots will pop up as it recognizes building features and landmarks. Pretty quickly – a few seconds, in our handful of tests – the dots fade away, and a set of arrows and markers appear to guide your way. A small cut-out view at the bottom shows your current location on the map.

When you drop <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Google Maps wants to shift back to the standard 2D map view. AR mode comes back in.

In our short test (about 45 minutes in all), the feature worked as promised. It definitely works better in some scenarios than others; It's a quick and easy way to get around the city, it works pretty well. If you're in the middle of a plaza, it might take a few seconds longer.

Google's decision to build this as a whole. Between making yourself an easy target for a phone with a mobile phone or a mobile phone. I want to make sure I'm getting off on the right foot, at which point on occasional glance at the standard map will hopefully suffice.

Google did a deeper dive on how the tech works here, but in short: it's about helping you to get it out of the way the cloud, where it's analyzed for unique visual features. GPS signal, so it can compare the street View it – it has some building features, statues, or permanent structures – and work backwards to your more precise location and direction.

The feature is currently rolling out to be "Local Guides" for feedback , Local Guides are an opt-in group of users who contribute reviews, photos, and places while helping.

Alas, Google told us that it has no idea when it'll roll out beyond that group.

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