It’s the Real World—With Google Maps Layered on Top

In fairness, even when GPS is screwy, it’s typically close enough for driving. But when a drone’s dropping a package on your stoop, close isn’t good enough. Self-driving cars can’t muddle through for a few dozen yards the way a human driver can. Honestly, even if you’re just looking for your Uber driver or Lime scooter, locations need to be more exact.

By making use of smartphone cameras, apps can get a more-detailed sense of where you are and where you need to go. The app knows which direction you are pointing in, even what you’re looking at. And because it’s all seen through a camera view on your phone, the app can layer directions on top of the real world, turning navigation into an augmented-reality experience.