Google Maps and Search get AR updates

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Google unveiled several augmented reality (AR) updates to its product line-up at its annual developer’s conference I/O yesterday, including for Google Maps and Search.

The much-anticipated update to Google Maps that will allow Pixel device owners to view walking directions in AR, with arrows appearing in the real world through the device’s camera, is ready to go.

Google Maps and Search get AR updates

Owners of the new (more affordable) Pixel 3a, as well as the entire Pixel portfolio, will get a preview of AR in Google Maps. For the feature to work, users will need to be in areas covered on Street View where there’s a good data connection and good lighting.

The Alphabet-owned company is also rolling out AR features in Search later this month, enabling users to view and interact with three-dimensional (3D) models.

Starting in Search, users will be able to view 3D models of objects and them place them in their own surroundings. The example below, of an 18-foot great white shark, is accessible via an option in the knowledge panel that will let users view them in 3D and AR.

Google Maps and Search get AR updates

Google also revealed that it’s working with partners such as NASA, New Balance, Samsung, Target, Visible Body, Volvo, Wayfair and more to include their own content as 3D models in Search.

Finally, updates to Lens in Google Photos and Assistant will identify objects and retrieve information about a specific item, such as reviews, and find alternatives available online.

Google Maps and Search get AR updates

Lens will also find information and anchor it to the things you see. “Now you’ll be able to browse the world around you, just by pointing your camera,” Google said.

Image credits: Google