A new hidden feature uses positional tracking to let you actually walk through cities.
Despite just being made available to the public only two days ago, Apple’s iOS 11 beta has already been stripped down, analyzed and pushed to its limits by rapid iPhone & iPad enthusiasts. The new update to the platform has brought an impressive selection of exciting new features: from the groundbreaking ARkit (augmented reality development platform), Apple Pay Messenger integration, and Live Photos coming to life.
However there’s one addition in particular that seems to be flying surprisingly under the radar despite being one of the more interesting feature updates. Along with a slew of other nifty features, the iOS 11 update also brings virtual reality functionality to the Apple Maps app in the form of a reengineered version of the popular “Flyover” feature.
The standard Flyover featured currently available on iOS 10 allows users to view detailed digital renders of international sites from the perspective similar to that of a low-flying aircraft (or Superman). Swiping the screen allows you to move about and explore locations, while pinching with two fingers zooms you in for a closer look.
But who wants to have to swipe the screen like some caveman? Apple sure doesn’t, which is why this newest update lets users move throughout their desired locations by physically walking around!
Utilizing positional tracking from the iPhone’s sensors, users can walk or turn in any direction–and the digital scenery on the phone will reposition itself appropriately in real time. So now you can actually walk the streets of London or stroll through the chaos that is Tokyo by actually, well, strolling!
Developers have just now begun posting videos of their various experiences with the intuitive new feature and initial reactions are positive to say the least:
With the addition of this neat little feature, as well as larger undertakings such as ARkit and HTC Vive integration, Apple is showing a true commitment to both augmented and virtual reality. Hopefully this is just the tip of the iceberg and the company continues to remain involved in further pushing the ball forward with immersive technology.
If you end up trying out the new Flyover features yourself, just be sure you take everything with a grain of salt. The current platform is still under beta so performance isn’t 100% stable as of yet. iOS 11 for iPhone and iPad will officially launch in September.