Google Has Big Plans for AR. Google Maps Could Be the Key

Before Google has its own pair of augmented reality glasses, it’ll need AR to work everywhere. World-spanning AR that blankets the real world using map data has been a goal for several companies lately, and Google is layering its AR using Google Maps.

The toolkit, announced at Google’s I/O developer conference on Wednesday, could leap ahead of several competing efforts from rivals such as Niantic, Snap and Apple by using swaths of existing Google Maps data to generate location-specific AR anchors. Google’s doing this using the same technique it used to create AR layers on top of Google Maps, called Live View, that were introduced back in 2019.

The new ARCore Geospatial API, as it’s called for developers, could quickly allow specific augmented reality information to be placed at specific locations around the world, so that many people could see it at the same time and interact with it.