Moovit, a handy smartphone app that makes it easy to navigate using public transit, is launching a helpful new augmented reality (AR) navigation feature.
Dubbed ‘Way Finder,’ the idea behind the feature came from a Moovit user who jokingly requested a feature to tell her if she was on the wrong side of the street. The idea struck a chord with the Moovit team, which built the beginnings of Way Finder during the company’s last hackathon.
Now, the feature is rolling out to iOS devices worldwide, including users in Canada. Way Finder uses AR to display digital directions over real-world images and point the way for people. When users activate Way Finder and hold up their phone, the top half of the screen shows a live camera view. Moovit overlays the view with signs and indicates which direction to go.
The bottom half of the screen shows where a user is on a map. Plus, when users lower the phone, it switches to just the map view.
These digitally overlayed directions can make it easier to find the right bus stops or subway entrances. It can be especially useful for people in an unfamiliar place, like a new city or neighbourhood. Moovit plans to expand the feature in the future with taxi pick-up points and shared scooter locations.
To use Way Finder, make sure you’ve got the latest version of Moovit on iOS. Then, enable it in the app. Open the app’s Settings by tapping the three-line menu button in the top right, then tap ‘Settings’ > ‘Labs’ > ‘Enable Way Finder.’
After that, search for where you want to go, select a route and tap ‘Navigate’ to begin Live Directions. Then, tap the blue Way Finder button and lift your phone to scan the environment. With that, you’re using Way Finder.
Of course, it’s important to remember that the feature is currently in beta and some aspects may not work correctly. Moovit requests that users submit feedback to help optimize Way Finder.