In March, Google Maps AR navigation was updated to work inside complex buildings. After launching in some US malls, Google is expanding Indoor Live View to transit stations in Japan.
Outdoors, Live View is powered by a global localization system that leverages your camera, AI, and existing Street View imagery to match your place in the world. Earlier this year, Google touted “new advancements” that allow “precise altitude” to be used for Indoor Live View.
If you’re catching a plane or train, Live View can help you find the nearest elevator and escalators, your gate, platform, baggage claim, check-in counters, ticket office, restrooms, ATMs and more.
The same arrows and directions “point you the right way” from your current location. A traditional map view is available at the bottom of the screen, while the viewfinder is annotated with arrows that feature accompanying icons (like elevators). Once you’re pointed in the right direction, you get a sign that after a seconds will animate into very obvious directional arrows for extra emphasis. Once you arrive at the destination, you get the iconic red Maps pin.
This can be useful when you’re looking for where to transfer in a station that has multiple levels. In Japan, Google is bringing Indoor Live View to the following JR East locations:
Tokyo Station, Shinjuku Station, Shibuya Station, Shinagawa Station, Ueno Station, Ikebukuro Station, Shimbashi Station, Akihabara Station, Takada Baba Station, Gotanda Station, Ebisu Station, Nippori Station, Nakano Station, Kitasenju Station, Tachikawa Station, Omiya Station, Urawa Station
Google will support more sites in the future, while it plans wider availability in airports and malls. It’s available on both Google Maps for Android and iOS.
This expansion indoors comes as Apple will introduce AR navigation outdoors with iOS 15 this fall.
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