It uses the same technology used by Live View in Google Maps
One of the use cases of ARCore Google talks about the most is map navigation, of all things. Live View in Google Maps lets you use your phone’s camera to pan around a scene and overlay directions in the real world. It’s a really cool feature that can greatly enhance your navigation experience, but don’t you wish there were more real-world scene experiences like that one on your phone? That’s exactly what Google wants to unlock for developers with the new ARCore Geospatial API, announced at Google I/O 2022.
The new Geospatial API gives app developers access to global localization for their AR applications, games, and experiences. Basically, it takes Google’s vast Street View imagery database, which comprises tens of billions of images, and matches it using Google’s machine learning shenanigans against what your camera sees and where your GPS says you’re at, allowing developers to anchor and overlay content by specific coordinates without actually having to scan the physical space. In other words, it extends Google’s AR magic and overlays it over the world using geolocation and Street View imagery.
According to Google, a few apps are already using the Geospatial API. Bird and Lime are using it for their e-scooters and e-bikes, and Telstra and Accenture are using it to help users go around stadiums without getting lost. Finally, DOCOMO is leveraging it for a new game that involves virtual dragons and e-robots.
If you’re a developer, and you want to give this a shot in your app, make sure you get started with it and read more about it on the ARCore developer website. Google has also made available a couple of open-source demos you can play around with. If you’re an user looking for more AR thrills, keep an eye out for new apps popping up using this API in the future.
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