One of the most promising applications for augmented reality technology is navigation. You can view the place where you are on your phone or tablet screen, and augmented reality adds an instructional layer on top of the image to help you go to the right direction.
In addition to Google Pixel Android smartphones, Google Maps Live View was recently made available to a range of Asus and Samsung phones (models that have augmented built-in reality technology – ARCore or ARKit).
Live View requires Google Street View, so you have be in a place that Google has photographed and created a map from those images. Let’s say you are lost in narrow alleys of central Amsterdam, and want to find your way to the railway station. Street View displays images of the place where you are, and Live View adds a constantly updating map and instructions on top of the images for finding to the station.
Google Maps Live View is not the first augmented reality app for navigation, but it differs from other solutions. Whereas other augmented reality navigation systems I have seen view the real world through the camera lens (and add a navigation layer on top it), Google trusts its Street View images for showing the world around you.
Google Maps Live View is a beta application at the moment. It may not be available to all markets and it only runs on phones that come with augmented reality built-in.
01net.com tested the Live View augmented reality navigation in Paris, and the test team was really happy with it. They thought it was magic. It was easy to use: enter the destination address, choose pedestrian mode and turn on augmented reality mode. A practical tip: don’t forget to look at the real world around you for moving around safely.