You ever seen those morons standing on the street corner, phone screen held above their head and perpendicular to the sky, rotating it slowly to figure which direction they’re standing in relation to their Maps app? If you haven’t, it’s probably because you’re doing the same thing.

Well it looks like we may finally be coming to the end of this time honored tradition of both locals and tourists alike, as Google recently revealed AR additions to their Maps designed to let you know exactly where you stand in relation to their directions.

As we get into these new additions, please keep in mind that for thousands of years maps were two-dimensional pieces of paper which (besides at malls) didn’t even tell you where you stood. In fact, scientists attribute a majority diasporas to this design flaw as most people were just lost as f*** and wandering all over the place.

Green Arrows

At the company’s developer conference, I/O, Google exec Aparna Chennapragad unveiled a new Street View feature in maps overlaid with AR.

Essentially, once your directions are entered, a series of arrows pop up in front you, pointing you where to go. When you need to change directions, they light up green, catching your attention lest you be forced to rely on short-term recall.

In addition, a smaller version of the “above” view on Maps pops up below, keeping you spatially oriented even while you focus on your next couple steps.


However, the most talked about addition has been the “helpful guide” Google has been experimenting with.

Described by Business Insider as an “excitable fox,” this little buddy stands on the street, facing the direction you want to go. And once you’re ready to move, it “bounds” along with you.

Chennapragad declined to say whether this foxy friend would be released or was an in-house experiment. Either way, it received, along with the arrows, a raucous response (using “raucous” extremely loosely because we are dealing with developers here.)

How far we’ve come from the days of arguing over whether or not to ask strangers directions. Going to have to do some script rewrites on my holiday-themed family vacation comedy starring The Fat Jewish.


[Full video below. Chennapragad starts at 2:45:00. Go to 2:46:35 for audience response.]