Google Maps is a marvellous little app that probably harvests a little more info than we’d like, but even it can’t help you navigate a sprawling mall. It’s happened to the best of us: You drive for ages to eventually arrive at your location, get to the front gate and then realise that you still need to make it through a gigantic building; Google Maps can only take you so far. Yet it appears that that’s about to change…
Google is rolling out an update that will take the Google Maps Augmented Reality directions and have them work inside select buildings. This means you can finally rock up to Mall of Africa, completely baffled as to where to find the Game (or whatever it is you’re looking for), and simply whip out your phone for indoor directions. That is, if you don’t mind walking around the mall while viewing everything through your phone. AR is cool, but you might look like a bit of a dweeb.
Google Maps takes it inside
Do taper your enthusiasm though, it seems that while the indoor AR feature should work rather well, it’ll also be limited to certain buildings. You’re still likely to get lost in a random office block you’re visiting but major hubs like malls, train stations and airports will all be enhanced with the power of digital direction arrows.
Alongside this ever handy update is the inclusion of “eco-friendly” routes that will optimise the route you drive to assist you in producing less carbon emissions and thus do a little extra to help save the planet. This should also assist users in consuming less fuel when they drive, saving both Earth and few extra bucks. You can set Google Maps to use the eco-friendly route by default otherwise it’ll just select the eco-route if the normal pathing is close enough in distance. Oh, and a new layer which indicates the kind of weather you’ll be travelling in is also in the development pipeline, similar to the COVID-19 layer released last year.
When are these updates rolling out then? Well, the eco-friendly routing is expected to launch later this year while the indoor AR display is slowing rolling out in select countries around the world. A bunch of states in the US will be receiving the feature alongside certain malls in Zurich and Tokyo. One can only assume that South Africa isn’t at the top of Google’s priority list, but that’s not exactly new information.
Source: The Verge