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(Pocket-lint) - Google has shown a prospective new augmented reality feature it could add to Google Maps in future.

During its Google I/O keynote at the start of its developers conference, the company demonstrated the ability to use AR in order to navigate around a city by foot.

It uses a combination of the camera, Street View and visual location technology to know exactly where you are so that when you hold up your phone, you effectively see your directions floating ahead.

There might even be a virtual guide - shown as a fox in the demo - in future.

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Cleverly, the phone knows exactly which way you are facing by visually scanning your surroundings and matching many points of reference with those stored in its database.

Google did not give a timescale on when Google Maps might get this feature, nor whether it will be an Android exclusive, but we're hoping it might be added to Android P.

It was also announced that Google Lens will be integrated into the Camera application on future Android Phones and that it will be able to read words when the phone is held up to them. That means you can get explanations of the food on a menu, for example.

You will also be able to "cut and paste" the text to add to your own documents, just by holding your phone's camera up to the writing.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 8 May 2018.