Google has launched a programme to help users find the direction of the Qibla using augmented reality.
How does it work?
The Qibla Finder app uses a smartphone camera and location settings to project a line toward the Kaaba on the image shown on a mobile device’s screen.
Google’s service uses a digital compass and GPS locations of the Kaaba and the phone to determine the most direct route between the two locations.
Why has it been introduced?
“When people search for the Qibla — the direction Muslims turn to at prayer — they often look for a website or an app to point them in the right direction. Which explains why the word ‘compass’ often pops up when we look at Qibla-related search results over the past five years,” says Najeeb Jarrar, Marketing Manager, Google.
Jarrar further explains, “It would be a lot easier to simply hold up your phone and have it tell you the right direction to pray towards. So we’re launching the Qibla Finder, a web app that uses the latest in augmented reality to paint a clear blue line within the imagery your phone camera sees, pointing you towards the Kaaba.”
Where can you find it?
The company said the feature was the latest in a series of application updates helping users mark the month of Ramadan. It is said it will still be available after the holy month had passed.
All details about the Qibla Finder and the other updates are now on Google’s Ramadan Hub, a website the company launched in 2014 to help users navigate the different ways Google can help them during Ramadan.
It also includes Ramadan-specific notifications on Google Maps, a collection of discounts on the Google Play Store on top premium applications and books as well as a collection of the month’s most critically acclaimed Ramadan TV series on YouTube Mosalsalat.
Qibla Finder is available for all devices.
You can find Qibla Finder here