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Google Maps uses giant virtual arrows to prevent people from losing



On Monday, Google Maps began to allow some users to test a new feature for expanded reality in their mobile app, which shows graphs – such as highlighted arrows and street names flying in the air – through their live camera view the screens of the smartphone. Its purpose is to help them move around the city streets.

Google's Rachel Inman, who works with a user experience for the new feature, said the company hopes to make it easier to make a difference between the two-dimensional map of your phone and the three-dimensional world around you.

"We all tried to get out of the subway and go half block or block in the wrong direction and be really irritated when we have to turn around and go the way we had to go first, "She told CNN Business in a real demonstration of this feature in San Francisco on Monday.

But while many companies, including Google, have been working on expanded reality products for years, few are lucky with consumers. (Pokemon Go, created by Niantic, which escapes from Google, is a remarkable exception.) There are two main reasons for this: it is difficult to understand what to do with technology and it is difficult to make virtual images in a network with real objects around you.
Google Maps believes it cracked this walnut, and he gave a look at CNN Business during a walk from a park on the San Francisco coast to a café about a half mile away. Using the feature on Google Maps on a demo smartphone, I saw the names of upcoming streets being carried in the air in front of me on the screen. When I had to turn around, there were large arrows to help in my direction. When I reached my ultimate goal, a large red tweezer Google Maps appeared in the field of observation.

Because the feature is in the early stages of user testing, Google still has some problems to be worked out. For example, I noticed that the AR images in the application stopped working several times as I walked into the café.

But if I was in a new city, it would save me time to discuss where to go ̵

1; especially if I had just jumped off a bus or train.

  Google tests new AR features for your Maps app.

"He's still learning a lot, it's still very early," warned Marek Goratzki, Google Maps Engineer.

One of the reasons why technology takes time to improve is that it's hard, even now, to reliably find where you are and where you are on the map of the smartphone.

Usually a smartphone uses its built-in GPS and compass to determine your location and the direction you are in the mapping application. In crowded cities, however, this may be difficult. GPS relies on a line of sight to pass radio signals from remote satellites to your phone, so tall buildings can make it hard to understand where you are. The compass can also be thrown into urban areas because of the abundance of magnetic objects like metal in buildings, cars, buses, and urban infrastructure – like light poles.

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Google uses artificial intelligence to find out where they are things. The company has a decade of street and landmark images around the world from its Street View program. The new AR feature allows users to hold their phone so they can match the landmarks (including buildings) with those graphics that the app has already captured. Google Maps uses machine training to determine which details are likely to be the same and best ignored (like trees as they may change depending on the time of the year).

Once Google Maps has a better idea of ​​where you are, it can overlay virtual images on what it sees through the smartphone's camera. They may look more like integrated with reality – something that has long been a challenge for companies that build APs in smartphone applications.

For now, Google is trying to keep these images simple. An earlier AR prototype showed fireworks when the user approached their Google Maps destination, Gorecki said. The team decided that this was not a good idea.

"It was mostly a distraction," he said. "You do not want to overdo it."


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