Apple is exploring the possibility of integrating augmented reality into an all-improved Maps application for the iPhone, the latest patent filing from Cupertino suggests.
Unearthed by the eagle-eyed folk at Patently Apple, an application filed by the tech giant with the US Patent and Trademark Office titled ‘Augmented Reality Maps’ has given fresh credence to its plans to revamp the stock Maps application on the iPhone using enhanced navigation capabilities.
For the uninitiated, augmented reality utilises the iPhone’s GPS to pinpoint its location then uses data from internal sensors, such as the accelerometer and compass, to display the desired location slathered on top of the area in the camera's field of vision.
The filing describes a device that can “receive input from the user requesting directions from a present location to a selected search result. Directions can be overlaid onto the presently displayed video feed, thus showing a course and upcoming turns.”
Sound familiar? Well, augmented reality apps aren’t new if you’ve used the likes of Layar, which does pretty much what’s mentioned above. The difference here is that the technology would be built right into the on board Maps application, making it more convenient to get directions when you’re in a hurry.
It’s unclear whether the new application would be ready by the launch of the iPhone 5, which increasingly rumoured to land in early October.
Source: Patently Apple