Google used its Tuesday I/O keynote to unveil a pretty killer new feature that may one day come to Google Maps: camera-assisted walking navigation.
“Here’s how it could—will look like,” Google VP Aparna Chennapragada told the I/O crowd when unveiling a sample interface that combines Google Maps’ 2D interface with the view from your smartphone’s camera lens.
Chennapragada offered nothing in the way of a release date.
“GPS alone doesn’t cut it,” Chennapragada said when describing how this camera-powered mode might work. She used that prompt to unveil a Google initiative dubbed the visual positioning system (VPS). It can “estimate precise positioning and orientation” based on images gathered by a user’s smartphone.
This Maps prototype follows Facebook’s early-2017 reveal of a similar initiative meant to eventually run within the Facebook smartphone app. Facebook’s vision also includes text highlights in a user’s field of view with business-related tips, along with friends’ notes, recommendations, and graffiti.