While navigation by way of Google Maps is, for the most part, a smooth process for pedestrians, there's usually an awkward moment of failed orientation when you first start the feature and try and line yourself up with the little blue dot.
Although the Google Maps AR feature was announced halfway through 2018, it has not yet arrived on any consumer devices, but The Wall Street Journal has been able to test out an early version of it. This primarily means that Google Maps combines Street View and data from Maps using smartphone's camera for easier and better navigation.
Locations compatible with the new feature will have a new "Start AR" button alongside the standard "Directions". You can simply hold your phone up and Google Maps will give you actual directions in the real world, and the idea is pretty cool for sure. First, Google Maps leverages Global Positioning System to sense your basic location.
In this way, the app creates a real-time and immersive navigation for the user based on what he sees around him.
The current version of the new feature entails the users holding the camera up and pointing it to nearby points, and according to the report it took barely "few seconds" to figure out the location "with remarkable precision".
The company showed this upcoming AR feature at its annual developer conference Google I/O in 2018.
If the user has asked for directions, big arrows showing the user the direction to walk in is overlaid on the buildings on screen.
Google is rolling out a tool called "Your Match", which uses machine learning to determine your location and interests, serving up targeted suggestions for new businesses opening up in your area and more.
The feature will likely also be available through AR glasses in the future.
For its part, Google has set out a few caveats about the new feature.