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A look back into the computing future: At its own developer conference I/O, Google shows how Google Maps could become the backbone of the augmented reality future.

Two innovations are on the horizon for Google Maps: “Immersive View” renders vivid 3D cities and even interiors from 2D maps, enhanced with real-time information. With the Geospatial API, developers can anchor digital objects precisely and permanently in the real world.

This so-called augmented reality cloud, experts reckon, could become as valuable to the 3D future as Internet search is today. It is the 3D coordinate system, and its operator is the gatekeeper for digital information in the real world.

If Google is the first to tap into the AR cloud thanks to Maps, it could achieve similar supremacy in the XR era as it does with Internet search today. Google’s AR ambitions are supported by major advances in artificial intelligence.

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It was probably no coincidence that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled his own new AR-focused tech glasses, Cambria, in parallel with Google’s AR announcements. Meta is likely to be the current leader in hardware, and Zuckerberg secured some headlines on augmented reality in parallel with I/O.

But for Zuckerberg’s Metaverse strategy to reach its full potential, he needs an equivalent to Google Maps. The Meta CEO knows this: With Live Maps, Facebook announced a corresponding project as early as 2019, but without revealing any details about how and when. Since then, however, there have been no more updates.

>> Google transforms Google Maps into the backbone of our AR future


Future of computing now!

?❓ Meta’s next VR AR headset Cambria: all you need to know
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Online journalist Matthias is the co-founder and publisher of THE DECODER. He believes that artificial intelligence will fundamentally change the relationship between humans and computers.
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