Google’s ‘Live View’ Maps feature has been available in some countries for a while, letting users hold up their smartphones and view directions pasted onto city streets and buildings using augmented reality. Around September this year, Google announced the ability to search with Live View adding a visual angle to search. Among the many new accessibility, beauty, and shopping features that have now been added to search, Google is finally ready to roll out its augmented reality search feature to select cities.
As per its previous announcement, Google will now start rolling out search with Live View in London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and Tokyo. The feature lets users hold up their smartphones (like they do when using the camera) and view not just directions, but landmarks and locations of buildings and businesses around them while panning their smartphones, making it easier to find establishments in augmented reality instead of following directions on a flat map in their smartphones. The feature, according to Google, also lets users find and spot places that aren’t in their immediate view. Google also lays out related information about establishments like timings, crowd and pricing in its Live View AR markers.
While search with Live View is only limited to a few cities for now, Google has also improved and added features to search.
Those using Maps to find electric charging stations will now also be able to add a “fast charge” filter to their searches to find a station with a faster charger. In some countries electric vehicle owners can also type their car’s charger type to only see compatible charging stations in their search results.
The ability to find wheelchair accessible places or establishments, which was previously only available in select countries, is now available globally, on both Android and iOS. Users simply need to turn on the “Accessible Places” setting in Google Maps and then look out for the wheelchair icon on the business profile to know if it has a wheelchair accessible entrance. Searching for a particular food dish is also a lot easier. Users simply need to type in the name of the dish in Maps search and the results will now show restaurants that serve them.
Google is also adding a new AR-powered shopping and beauty feature, which will let users find the exact cosmetic foundation shade they’re looking for. Maps now gets a photo library featuring 148 models that represent a diverse spectrum of skin tones and will let users basically apply the foundation on these virtual models helping them find the perfect skin product. Upon finding the right one, simply tap to select the product to find a retailer. Google has also introduced the ability to find shoes and explore them in AR, but they are currently limited to select brands.