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Google patent reveals augmented reality GPS navigation

April 23, 2013

Titled “Panoramic images within driving directions”, Google’s interesting new patent involves overlaying objects that users are familiar with in today’s navigation systems. Utilizing 3-D models, live video feeds, 360-degree video and images, your route could be shown in a heads-up display such as your windshield, or even Google Glass.

With current technology, to actually see your route, you have to take your eyes off the road. With this augmented reality setup, the road will become your display. Car manufacturers have taken advantage of heads-up displays in the past. For example, several Cadillac models project your speed, RPM, and song playing or radio station selected, on the windshield.

However, Google likely has more immediate plans for this method of overlaying GPS-related images, and perhaps video. Last week, it was announced Glass Explorers would start receiving their developer unit after signing up for them at Google I/O 2012. One of the big features of Glass is it allows you to do a number of tasks previously reserved for a smartphone, completely hands-free, and without taking your eyes off of life.

The method that Google details in its recently granted patent is prime for Glass. However, this concept could make its way into future vehicles. Buying a car with Google Maps pre-loaded, and an advanced heads-up display, would be a great value for anyone in the market for a new car.