Google has launched beta testing of Augmented Reality mode in Maps for all iOS or Android smartphones that support AR features.

The company introduced Maps with augmented reality in May last year, and at the beginning of this, it showed reporters a working prototype of the Google Pixel 3 XL phone with an alpha version of the program. By successively pressing the “Directions”, “Walking” and “Live View” buttons, the user saw on the screen an image of a street with a three-dimensional indicator of the path to the intended target superimposed on top.

Then this function was available only to a limited number of users, but starting today (plus the time required to receive the update), all owners of modern and not very budget smartphones can experience it. IOS owners need ARKit support, and Android users need ARCore, TechCrunch writes.

The Live View function does not imply that you need to constantly keep the phone in front of you vertically while you are walking – it allows you to quickly and very easily navigate in an unfamiliar place thanks to huge, easily readable virtual pointers.

The new AR mode is part of a major update to Google’s navigation service, which includes airline and hotel reservations.

According to the company’s plan, the user should be able to plan his entire trip in one application. And, of course, this will be an application from Google.

Augmented reality contact lenses are planned to be distributed to US Army soldiers by the DARPA Advanced Research Authority. The lenses have an autonomous power source, and they not only improve vision, but also transmit information about what is happening on the battlefield over a wireless network.

The lens is the first device of its kind to be equipped with a miniature and flexible autonomous power source. Developers from IMT Atlantique claim that the charge lasts for several hours of full work.