Apple Explores Augmented Reality Navigation For iPhones


Apple has two new patent applications out today (via AppleInsider) that show it’s been working on boosting the iPhone’s navigation abilities with augmented reality features. The patent describes a way that the iPhone could use its camera in combination with on-device software to generate virtual maps of your surroundings, which are overlaid on a real feed, and which can do things like provide a look inside surrounding buildings.

The patents describe a way to use GPS, Wi-Fi and sensor information to pinpoint a user’s position and then download a 3D model of their surroundings, including points of interest. To compensate for the fact that using sensor data alone would likely result in an imperfect matching of virtual and real environment (as has been the case in other similar AR mapping apps), Apple uses live video feed from the iPhone’s camera, and lets a user actively match up virtual elements…

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