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We Test Google Maps with Augmented Reality | Maps and location

The best example of using Augmented Reality (AR) so far is the game Pokmon GO: the user points the device to the real world and sees the digital pet. The tendency is for the picture to change, however, as other applications with technology begin to appear. Google Maps falls into this category: the search giant announced the first tests combining maps and AR in 2018. Now is the turn of the TechTudo Play with functionality and attest: It has the potential to revolutionize the use of maps especially among the most tangled people to find their own way.

The experiment took place in the most unlikely way: this intrepid reporter was in San Jos, United States, for coverage of WWDC 2019, Apple's developer conference. Moving between appointments, the iPhone (iOS) app warned of functionality still in development.

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Google Maps displays attention alerts when using Augmented Reality mode Photo: Playback / TechTudoGoogle Maps displays attention alerts when using Augmented Reality mode Photo: Playback / TechTudo

Google Maps displays attention alerts when using Augmented Reality mode Photo: Playback / TechTudo

Right away, it may be that the test taker is a little apprehensive because there are so many security alerts. Basically, Google Maps warns that the user is not looking at the display. Watch the street and don't fall into the manhole! could be a permanent warning.

The creators of the tool use technology to prevent accidents. From time to time, the phone screen is partially black to remind you of the scroll.

The operation could not be more efficient. At one point, I have Maps open on the region map (seen from above). In another, the camera image opens. The instruction to point it forward, preferably near signs, street names and building facades. The system reads the environment and shows a giant arrow where I need to change direction, showing the path step by step.

Digital elements are displayed above camera images Photo: Playback / TechTudoDigital elements are displayed above camera images Photo: Playback / TechTudo

Digital elements are displayed above camera images Photo: Playback / TechTudo

The information-rich navigation interface: shows the distance to the next change of course (only missing in meters; currently standing at the United States standard). In addition to the real-time image, the lower portion of the app also features a map reminiscent of Waze navigation, indicating what is ahead.

It is noteworthy that camera images lose some of their color, as if they were faded. It may be a technique for the user to always remember when looking at the display and not the real world. The final destination signaled by the traditional red pin.

Iconic red pin indicates destination; app also collects user reviews Photo: Playback / TechTudoIconic red pin indicates destination; app also collects user reviews Photo: Playback / TechTudo

Iconic red pin indicates destination; app also collects user reviews Photo: Playback / TechTudo

Google says it combines camera, GPS, and Street View information to come up with this result. The technology called VPS (acronym for Visual Positioning System in a variation of GPS) estimates the position and orientation of the user more accurately.

It worked very well in a quiet city. It remains to be known what the behavior of Google Maps with RA in locations with higher population density and concentration of smartphones. After all, who has never had the experience of seeing the little blue ball of Maps bouncing from corner to corner or spinning wildly?

Google informed the TechTudo which does not have a forecast of when the functionality will arrive in Brazil.

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