Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that generally relates to providing map related features concerning venues in a map application. While Apple has been expanding indoor maps for airports, the next wave of indoor maps will be covering large city malls. Not only will you be able to view the mall like a directory on your iPhone, you’ll be able to drill down further to see the floor plans of larger branded stores.
Apple notes that in some implementations, a computing device (iPhone) can provide a map application providing a representation of a physical structure of venues (e.g., shopping centers, office buildings, airports). In addition, the application can provide an inside view that includes the physical layout and geometry of the venue’s structure as well as the location, structure and layout of points of interest (e.g., stores, restaurants, offices, security check points, restrooms) within the venue. The views become more detailed as the user zooms into the venue to reveal points of interest and to give the user a feel for traversing the venue.
In other implementations, the map application can provide a unique venue directory, providing an easy and visual mechanism to search for categories of points of interest (e.g., clothes, food, restrooms) or specific items within the venue.
In addition, search results can be presented on a map of a floor within the venue as well as a listing providing all search results located within the venue.
In other implementations, the map application provides a route and/or turn-by-turn navigation instructions to a destination within a venue comprising one or more floors when desired by the user.
The map application can provide an indoor overview navigation mode whereby the route is shown on the one or more floors, including routing through floor connecting devices (e.g., elevators, escalators, stairs).
The map application can present a graphical view of a route and maneuvers as seen from a point of view of a virtual camera.
To review full details and more patent figures related to Apple’s future 3D indoor mapping app, check out patent application 20180349413 here. Apple filed their patent back in May 2018. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.