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Getting around Shinjuku, Tokyo with Augmented Reality in Google Maps

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I made a point to use the AR (Augmented Reality) functionality on my Google Maps mobile app during my most recent trip to Tokyo, Japan. And I was pleasantly surprised at how well it actually worked for me, even though it is still in the Alpha stage (yes, not even Beta).

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Getting around Shinjuku, Tokyo with Augmented Reality in Google Maps | BlueSky Perth

While navigating through the mobile, it made sense for me to hold it up in front of me - like you were recording a video for example. But it does not feel natural at all, and a little clumsy and clunky. At times when I did put the mobile down to rest my arms, the "live" arrows seem to disappear or take some time to re-calibrate.

The other minor annoyance I had was the constant safety warning that kept popping up on the screen, and at times, blocking parts of the map that I needed at that point.

Overall, I would give the experience a pass. But it definitely makes more sense to use this via a Google Glass, or an AR capable glasses/headset.

I can see a potential here for third party devices though, to allow a user to "transfer" and project the AR elements from the mobile app, to their everyday standard non-AR glasses.

Rizal Farok | BlueSky Perth
Rizal Farok
2 weeks ago
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