Apple filed a new patent application, which suggests a new navigation system for an improved street view mapping technology. The system is based mostly on panoramic data, just like the Street View system offered by Google Maps.
As you know, once Apple Maps was release, the service was highly criticized due to its lack of accuracy and effectiveness. It was pretty hard for Apple to give up Google Maps in favor of a personal mapping system. Unfortunately, such kind of system takes a while before it is becomes fully effective, so Apple is constantly trying to improve it.
With each iOS update, Apple tried to offer an Apple Maps improvement, as well. However, the service still needs significant changes and improvements, but the Fruit Company is taking things at a time. Keep in mind the fact that when Apple Maps was released, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook offered an official apology for the lack of accuracy of their system.
The patent application discovered on Thursday called the “3D Position Tracking for Panoramic Imagery Navigation” describes a graphical user interface, which resembles the iPhone or iPad’s onboard sensors to navigate panoramic imagery. Within this new system, the user is placed in a bubble, which can be navigated through an input device such as a mouse or a multitouch screen.
Apple is trying to track subsystems and onboard sensors deployed within a mobile device used to display the user’s position into a panoramic navigation UI. In order to use the Street View system, the user has to enter the street-level view or to pin to a map his exact location. When moving the device forward or back, the panoramic imagery will be supplied by build-in storage or streamed wirelessly over cellular data networks. Throughout this whole process, the onboard sensors are collecting movement data, such as linear and velocity metrics and translating all actions to the users’ interface.
The imaging sensor is called the “Optical Flow” which is capable of reading apparent patterns of motion of objects in a panoramic image. Moreover, if the user set the exact distance, the device will be able to display the appropriate virtual location of a user within the environment.
However, the most intriguing feature presented within the patent application is the fact that users can use multiple devices to display a wider panoramic image. Devices all can communicate wirelessly in order to show a suitable panoramic image regarding the environment.
The last feature mentioned in the application is the fact that the Street View technology system will be helpful when walking into buildings. Users will be able to select various objects such as products in a supermarket or to read the information regarding a certain product.
For now, Apple Maps still need a street-level viewing since users surely miss it compared to the old Google Maps system. However, it is uncertain whether if Apple will implement the Street View invention of a future Apple Maps update, but the Cupertino-based Company is struggling hard in order to compete with Google for the Mapping system.