Google is teasing new features that are coming to Google Maps including Immersive View. Using a combination of Artificial Intelligence, Street View, and aerial images, this feature is designed to take you into an area that you're planning to visit (using your phone's screen), add the current weather and traffic, and even allow you to virtually enter a store or a restaurant. With Immersive View, you can get used to the restaurant you have reservations for and even know what to expect in terms of the size of the crowd.
Immersive View puts you right inside a restaurant or on a street allowing you to adjust to weather and crowds in advance
As an example, Google shows how Immersive View can show you what it will be like to view a ball game at Oracle Park. You'll see in advance where the parking lots and exits are, see what the weather will be on the day of your visit (so you can dress accordingly) and allow you to take a virtual walk around the restaurants near the ballpark so you'll know where to go to eat before or after the game.
Immersive View will be available on Google Maps (on iOS and Android) over the next few months in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo. It will also be available in more cities in the future. Earlier this year we wrote this about Immersive View:
"If you want to know what the atmosphere is like inside a restaurant, with Immersive View, you'll be able to swoop down to street level and get a peek of the inside of the eatery."
With Neighborhood Vibe, Google Maps can tell you what makes a particular neighborhood special. Is it an area for foodies? Is it an area with an "artsy vibe?" You can find out by exploring photographs of a particular neighborhood to see what it looks like.
And using Search with Live View, Google bring Augmented Reality (AR) to your phone. You might be familiar with Live View which allows you to see arrows and directions on your screen layered over a live feed from your phone's camera. Live View is used to navigate walks in certain cities using Google Maps. Search with Live View will allows you to search and find certain things in your area such as ATM machines.
Bring Augmented Reality to Google Maps with Search with Live View"
Chris Phillips, the VP and GM of Geo at Google told reporters, "You can also see coffee shops, grocery stores and transit stations. You really get a sense of what an area is like at a glance. You can even see the business hours of a place that's down the street. It’s an amazing way to bring it all together at once, it really simplifies the experience and gives you confidence when you’re trying to see what’s around you in that moment."
Over the coming months, Search with Live View will be available in London, New York, Paris, San Francisco and Tokyo for both iOS and Android users. Google, which revealed many of these new features during its I/O developers conference in May, mentioned them again during its Search On 22 event held on Wednesday. Google also released a video of the event for those who might have missed it.
Google is also allowing developers to include Google Maps eco-friendly navigation with their apps. This will allow food delivery or ride share drivers using Google Maps to help them navigate, take routes that are more fuel efficient. Developers will be able to allow users to select the kind of engine being used to make this feature even more fuel-efficient. This will be available later this year in areas where Google already offers eco-friendly routing such as in the United States, Canada and parts of Western Europe.
These features will be coming to Google Maps during the coming months. The company says that they are part of its efforts to build a "visual-first" Maps experience so that users can more naturally navigate the world.