Fully [H]
Apr 10, 2003
Wall Street Journal reporter David Pierce was privy to a new form of pedestrian only, augmented reality navigation that is coming to Google Maps in the future. In the video below, Mr. Pierce takes his phone's camera and uses it to capture images of landmarks around him such as signs, shops, etc. Google then searches through its decade of Street View data to find where he is located. From there he tells the system where he wants to go and large blinking arrows are superimposed over the video feed from the camera on his phone to assist him. Even though the system is similar to the technology that self-driving cars use, it is not meant for driving. And it constantly warns the user to put the phone down as a person could be injured staring at a screen instead of paying attention to their surroundings. Google says it is perfect for those moments when you get out of a taxi cab or off the subway and need to understand exactly where you are.

Someday, when we start buying AR glasses, persistent AR directions might make a lot of sense. And directions aren't the sole point either. AR maps could help you learn more about everything you pass. Tory Smith, product strategy lead for autonomous vehicles at Mapbox, a navigation startup, envisions a possible future in which your windshield could display the nearest parking garage, then tell you how many spots are open, how much it costs and whether there's a good coffee shop nearby. You might someday navigate indoors--where GPS doesn't work--using AR maps, with Google Translate instantly turning every sign you pass into your own language.
Yikes, more getting run into by people having their phones in their faces. Only now, instead of just looking down while walking, they'll have their phone cameras pointed at just about anything (and anyone.. next layer of functionality to come), giving it the Glasshole Creep Factor.

Oh well, that is ultimately where tech wants to go, so it'll find a way.

I do wonder how well this will actually work in cities (where I suppose this is most useful) because oftentimes connectivity between those skyscrapers is piss-poor. And this seems like a thing that needs a decent data rate, makes me wonder how that'd screw over my meager 2GB/month data plan. And no, I will not connect to random WiFi hotspots throughout a city to have this working.
Nothing says you are lost like holding your phone out and trying to get directions. Criminals will figure out these people are very distracted and make easier marks.