Earlier this week Google launched a bunch of new, futuristic plans for the biggest search engine on the planet.
Google has also created a playful augmented reality feature in the shape of a guiding fox that could make its way to your screen in Google Maps. The little creature is supposed to improve navigation by offering a helping hand, using a smartphone's camera to direct users.
Google showcased the AR functionality at its I/O developers conference on Tuesday. Users are directed by the app which uses the camera on your smartphone to offer directions. The revised app combines real-world images with map overlays and location-based positioning, allowing users to access more information with less effort e.g. street names and places whilst in directions mode.
Vice President, Aparna Chennapragada, showed a video demonstrating the user's path lit with arrows that flash green when you need to change direction.
Aside from showing directions, the AR Google Maps will also feature trending spots, nearby restaurants and a lot more based on how you have rated locations visited on the app.
The AR Mode can also help users to answer a few questions, like what is this in front of me? Where am I going? "Our team has been working really hard to combine the power of the camera, computer vision with street views and maps to re-imagine walking navigation," Google said.
"To enable this kind of navigation experience, something more than GPS will be required, that’s why we have been working on what we call VPS, Visual Positioning System, that can estimate precise positioning and orientation using visual landmarks," Google added.
It is not clear when the AR Google Maps feature will be available on users' devices, but in the meantime, you can have a look at what the experience will look like, skip to 2:45:00 to see Google Maps AR in action.