An upcoming version of Apple’s Maps may let you ‘peek' ahead and behind

Future versions of Apple’s Maps app may let you “peek ahead and behind” hints a new patent filing (number 20180348005). The invention would allow you to peek ahead or behind during a turn-by-turn navigation presentation that Maps provides while tracking a device (e.g., a mobile device, a vehicle, etc.) traversal of a physical route. 

As the device — most likely an iPhone or Apple Watch — moves along the physical route, Maps would generate a navigation presentation that shows a representation of the device on a map traversing along a virtual route that represents the physical route on the map. 

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While providing the navigation presentation, Maps could receive user input to look ahead or behind along the virtual route. Based on the user input, the app would move the navigation presentation to show locations on the virtual route that are ahead or behind the displayed current location of the device on the virtual route.

This movement could cause the device representation to no longer be visible in the navigation presentation. Also, the virtual route could several turns, and the peek ahead or behind movement of the navigation presentation passes the presentation through one or more of these turns. In some embodiments, the map could be defined presented as a two-dimensional (2D) or a three-dimensional (3D) scene.

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.