So, it’s a nice sunny weekend morning and you decide to go to some famous coffee shop of which you have heard a lot about. The problem is you haven’t gone there before.

Well, not a problem!

You simply open the Google Maps search out the coffee shop over Google Street View maps and you are good to go.

Navigating the Google maps street view you come across an instruction “head West to Charleston Street”, well sure.

But there’s a problem, where exactly is the West?

Anyone and literally everyone who has tried to navigate the way using Google Maps has faced this situation. I personally have gotten into this disarray like numerous times. Even after years of following this cursed blue dot in Google Street view, I haven’t been able to train myself following it all the time. Things especially get weird when you reach the corner of a street, trying to get hold of the directions indicated by this Damn Blue Dot. At times you might have to walk back several yards after discovering that you have come the wrong way following this cheeky little blue dot.

Sure thing, there will be days when you reach your destination on time and without getting into any directional disarray, however, that would be the result of sheer intuition as well as some luck (not only this freaking blue dot).

Well, to say the least, there are few things more irritating and cumbersome than you find out you have missed your directions by a long mile and have to walk back a long way; all of this while you are getting late for an important meeting or an interview.

Guess what?

Google understand the pain stacking Google Maps Navigation process and the good thing is, they are up to few pretty exciting things.

Things get really charged up during this year’s Google IO conference 2018, at Mountain View, California.

The company has revealed that it’s working to resort this long-standing frustrating technology. And for many people including me, this is probably the most exciting of the announced upcoming technologies.

Say Hello to Augmented Reality:

The new Google Maps’ directions will be using the smartphone camera to help you navigate through streets. This will be the ultimate powerful navigation gear that will combine smartphone camera with the Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality. The result, well, you get to experience the best real-world view, while you navigate your way through the Google Maps.

There will be a clear indication of directions using Arrows, which will be overlaid onto the landscape. This will help you clearly understand the direction you need to head to, while clearly seeing surroundings. You will also get to see the different businesses or landmarks as you navigate through the Google Maps’ street view. The little identification cards can work as your bearing, serving as a virtual tour guide.

All of this will be accomplished using a new technology which Google referred to as Visual Positioning System (VPS). The VPS technology will scan the world in your surrounding and compare it against the imagery in the Google Maps’ street view.

The VPS technology will then mark the cues on your screen, clearly pointing out the directions you need to follow. (What’s more interesting is that the Google is already testing with an AR guide; yup! we are talking about this Fox).

VPS is a real-world solution to the real-world problem that we have been facing in terms of navigation through Google Maps’ street view.

What’s really exciting about the VPS is that it reminds us that some simplest everyday problems have a large impact on our daily routines and how simple solutions can help us efficiently navigate through those problems.

The Other Sorcery

Ok, while Google Maps’ was certainly the showstopper for this years’ Google IO conference, this wants the only exciting update we get to see.

Another technology that has inspired many and gained significant praise is what has been called as “Google Duplex”.

What’s the Google Duplex?

Well, think of it as your personal AI-powered duplicate. The Google Duplex is an AI-powered personal agent that can replicate you to hold conversations with other people. Yes, your duplicate who can talk in your place and the best part is, the other person might never know that he has been talking to an AI-powered agent and not the real person.

Apart from being your replica, the Google Duplex can book a restaurant table for you or make appointments.

Though it’s certainly exciting and amazing to see the marvels of AI raising to whole new level, it’s also scary a bit as we move a step forward to the reign where machines can eventually replace humans in real life situations.

Well, at least for now, the Google Duplex agent isn’t able to hold long conversations (at least not very intelligent one) and is designed for specific tasks, however, time will reveal where this technology heads in future.

Nonetheless, Google IO conference 2018 lived up to its mark as the tech giant reveals some exciting new technological advancements it is working on. I am though more interested in getting my hands on the new AR powered Google Maps’ street view. Let’s hope we get rid of that cursed blue dot as soon as possible.


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