Google Maps is getting a major upgrade.
During Google’s 2-hour long 2022 I/O event last week, the company made a number of exciting announcements, including the reveal of a new mid-tier phone as well as a pair of AR glasses capable of translating multiple languages in real-time.
Google also revealed world-scale AR experiences for Google Maps that will greatly improve the Street View experience on your mobile device, changing the way you view the world while wearing a pair of Google’s AR glasses when they become available.
Through digital transformation using Google’s AR Geospatial API, Cloud Anchors, and Visual Position System (VPI), Google envisions an experience in which AR is used to help you navigate any city, town, or rural countryside across 87 countries. The technology could also be used to offer a unique and personalized immersive experience using location-based AR effects. Imagine an AR landmark that could not only change the way you see the outside world but also create amazing 3D AR effects that can be viewed inside buildings and public venues.
What you get is an experience that uses terrain anchors, 3D building geometry, and geometric anchors that can be used to bring a landmark to life or give you directions to the closest pizza shop. A more detailed map experience that allows you to gain a closer look at building details, learn about cool underground music venues, and discover locations off the beaten path for you to chill and have a cup of coffee.
You could also use world-scale mapping and AR to help you see different times of the day so you can pick a sunny spot for that important morning coffee.
All of this is possible through blending photorealistic 3D worlds (visualization), abstract 3D worlds (analysis), and machine-readable 3D worlds (location) together to create maps that can be used by humans, autonomous vehicles, and machines for all types of interactions, including information, directions, and entertainment. You can even use the technology as a way to leave an AR flier that can be accessed by your friends to find a secret party.
One way Google highlighted this world-scale digital transformation during I/O 2022 was through ridesharing and micromobility, where drivers and riders would have accurate information on pick-up location, helping drivers find empty parking spots in real-time in any location in any large city around the world.
Of course, this could also have a massive impact on our day-to-day lives as more cities and towns look towards digital twinning for improved energy and water infrastructure, traffic flow, and land development. It can and even impact how first-responders navigate situations and provide assistance during a large emergency situation. You can read more about Google’s world-scale AR goals on their developer’s blog.
Image Credit: Google