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Apple May Be Planning AR Navigation

Evidence gathered from code of Apple’s Maps app suggests iOS11 will use AR navigation.

The launch of the ARKit and Apple’s entry into the augmented reality (AR) market has had a big impact on the AR sector. The ARKit tool is expected to be part of the upgrade to iOS 11, and experts are already eagerly pouring over the code to find out what has changed. What they have discovered has implications for how iOS will be handling navigation.

We’ve already seen AR used in some locations such as airports for use in helping passengers get to the right ticket desk or gate, code discovered within the iOS update by developer Felix Lapalme suggests that Apple are working on using similar technology for ‘turn-by-turn’ directions using AR.

Lapalme discovered a semi-transparent 3D arrow within the iOS Maps application, with a filename of ‘GuidanceArrowv4’. Further investigation showed that the arrow was designed to for use with the Maps app, integrated with the Camera output to provide directions for pedestrians.

Curiously, Apple hurriedly removed the code related to the functionality for the arrow after this discover way made, though left the Arrow asset in place. Apple have also already mentioned plans to add detailed maps of places like major airports and shopping centres to its Maps application for iOS 11, so it is conceivable that Apple are planning to allow users to locate points of interest in such locations, like restaurants or shops.

It’s unknown at this stage exactly how Apple plans to integrate existing or future apps with ARKit, but using on-screen navigation with AR seems like a viable place to start.

VRFocus will bring you further news on ARKit as it becomes available.

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