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Google is now user-testing its AR navigation feature for Google Maps

By Marcus Wong - on 12 Feb 2019, 11:30am

Google is now user-testing its AR navigation feature for Google Maps

The Wall Street Journal’s David Pierce recently got to test Google’s latest augmented reality feature – AR directions in Street View that show you exactly where to go. He describes the feature working as such: the app picks up a person’s location via GPS, and then uses Street View data to narrow it down to your exact location. Once his location was pinned down, it displayed big arrows and directions in his screen. As he says: “It was as if Maps had drawn my directions onto the real world, though nobody else could see them.”

This new feature isn’t meant to replace the existing interface completely though. Pierce says the app urges you to put down the camera after a short while, displaying the regular map interface when you do so. Rachel Inman, Google’s user-experience lead says “it’s for those moments like, ‘I’m getting off the subway, where do I go first?’”.

Apparently Google has been experimenting with the user interface too, as they’re trying to find a good balance between providing directions and having the user stuck to the screen. Apparently the feature will only be rolled out to a few local guides in the near future, with the full roll out coming only when “Google is satisfied that it’s ready”.

Check out the feature in Pierce’s video here.

Sources: The Verge, The Wall Street Journal