Today, Apple was granted a patent detailing an augmented reality mapping system that leverages iPhone hardware to overlay visual enhancements by streaming video.
The request issued by the Patent and Trademark Office US with 9,488,488 patent number, has the name of "Augmented reality maps" (augmented reality maps) and describes a mapping application can take advantage of the suite of sensors Advanced iPhone to present augmented real-time views of the environment.
In the patent, it explains how digital information such as street names, points of interest and more are superimposed on the live video extracted from a device's camera. Other variations that include complex functions such as GPS - based navigation are also detailed.
For example, a user could open the back camera iPhone activating the AR (Augmented Reality) function of the Maps application. The system automatically correlates data from device sensors, including the gyroscope, digital compass and accelerometer data GPS to locate iPhone's position in space, tilt and alignment.
With the information obtained, the application will be able to determine an approximation of the scene shown in the video stream. From there, the captured image, or live video, is augmented visually with the essential information of the mapping transferred from an external server.
Depending on the orientation of the device, the system is able to switch live video display formats to a panoramic view, making the transition in and out of AR (augmented reality) mode smooth.
It is already known that Apple is working on augmented reality solutions, although it is not known exactly what form this product will have and when it will be realized.