Yahoo! Japan just updated their iOS-based Map application to include a new experimental AR mode which superimposes a blue pathway onto the physical world for you to follow to your final destination. The AR function, which is only intended for walking routes currently, is available starting today on Japan-based Apple devices running iOS 11.
As first reported by our friends at Japanese VR publication MoguraVR, Yahoo! Map‘s new AR mode is made possible by Apple’s ARKit, an app development tool that allows developers to build augmented reality apps for mobile devices running iOS 11 or higher. There’s no word if a similar ARCore-powered Android app is in the making yet.
To activate the AR mode, users simply type in their destination as normal, select “walking route” and then tap “AR mode”.
A blue path appears, giving you white arrows to indicate the direction you should travel. Footprints (and also sometimes ‘paw prints’) will follow you as you make your way to your destination. Sign posts showing distance remaining also appear periodically to show you how many meters are left in your journey. Because this is Japan we’re talking about here, at the end of the trip you’ll of course be welcomed by a cute little cartoon character, which in this case is a helmeted puppy names Kensaku, one of Yahoo! Japan’s official mascots.
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