We know that Apple loves its augmented reality (AR) tech, and there have even been rumors that the company could be looking to develop its own AR headset. So much so that we can’t say we’re surprised that Apple is exploring more ways of integrating AR into its other products and services, such as Apple Maps.

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In a report from Patently Apple, it points towards a recently-published patent by Apple in which it suggests that future versions of Apple Maps could use AR technology. How so, you ask? We suppose the typical overlay of Apple Maps over an AR headset is one of those possible uses, but in this particular instance, Apple has envisioned how Apple Maps could actually be displayed in 3D form on top of a table.

This means that in theory, your smartphone could “project” a specific area from Apple Maps on top of a table, and you could walk around it to look at it from various angles. So for example instead of your standard top-down view, you could actually view the maps from more angles to better get your bearings.

In fact this use of AR isn’t exactly new. Apple actually unveiled such a game earlier this year that utilized a table top, AR, and an iOS device, so to translate that use to Apple Maps isn’t much of a stretch. Unfortunately given that this is only a patent, there’s really no telling if Apple actually plans on making it a reality so don’t get your hopes up just yet.

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