In two hundred yards, turn left and you will arrive at your destination: a brand new Google Maps feature. ????
Remember the good old days where you could use a physical map to tell you exactly when the next train was scheduled to arrive as part of your journey plan? No? Me either. From finding the quickest way to get to your next appointment to directing you to a brand new location that you’ve never been to before, Google Maps is usually your saviour. Google Maps seems to be on a roll recently with more and more updates to help us get around the world we live in in the easiest way possible.
Of course, for some – even with the help of apps like Google Maps, navigating safely can still be quite difficult. In particular, those who live with vision impairment can find getting around in unfamiliar and new environments more of a challenge. After all, consider how many streets you cross and how many busy intersections you encounter on even the simplest journeys.
That’s why Google Maps’ new feature is one that offers users the option to receive more detailed voice guidance with new types of verbal announcements for walking journey. This feature is specifically tailored for and built by people with vision impairments, identifying a significant gap in navigation apps that has been around since their creation.
The detailed voice guidance would work by consistently reminding users that they are currently on the right path, give out warnings when there is a busy crossing coming up, alerting them as to just how far away the next turn is and redirecting them is they have to stop or go in the wrong direction.
This is another example of Google Maps trying to make their user experience easier to use inline with their most recent new feature of AR mode. First announced in August, AR mode works in walking navigation, offering the chance to start this feature when the user clicks on directions, a Start AR button appears next to the Start button and launches the camera. This mode is designed to aid you in finding your way quickly if you’re unsure which direction to head.
This feature uses augmented reality to direct users to their destinations using the camera on the device to scan the surroundings and offering giant virtual markers onto your real-life environment. By pointing your device around you’ll be able to see the next marker all the way until you reach your destination where a location pin will be waiting for you. Of course, Google Maps recommends that you put your phone down while you’re walking so you’re safely aware of your surroundings. When you do so, the app goes back to the normal navigation display on your screen, however, once you put your phone back up, AR mode springs into action once more.
It seems that Google Maps is on a roll and is only seeking to make their app better for users from all walks of life as each new features offers something that we hadn’t thought of before. Now if only they could invent a teleporter! Maybe it’s only a matter of time?
Want to know more about cool tech that’s out there in the digital world? Check out our blog on Google Photos New Feature: Searching For Text!
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