Google keeps giving us more reasons to love technology. Maps has been such a phenomenal blessing to our world. And now, Google wants to kick things up a notch with Project Tango.
What is Project Tango?
Project Tango technology gives a mobile device the ability to navigate the physical world similar to how we do as humans. It brings a new kind of spatial perception to the Android device platform by adding advanced computer vision, image processing, and special vision sensors.
Google already maps the world, but now wants to digitally map the interiors of buildings in 3D down to a resolution of a few inches through Tango. At its core, the technology uses cameras to map the space around you in detailed 3D. It uses that data to create indoor maps, layering guided navigation on top of your screen’s view of the world. It can also be used with virtual reality, allowing you to see the world around you, as well as other players, while at the same time layering a virtual environment on top of these real objects.
Tango packs cameras and depth sensors along with other software into Android smartphones and tablets. Fire up the application and point the device at a space and it sucks in images and depth information to recreate the environment on the screen and locates itself within that new digital realm.
According to a report in Bloomberg, “The company plans a big expansion of the technology this year and ultimately wants to make it ubiquitous”. Google hopes Tango will support a system for independent developers to create new VR apps and services. Video games could have characters that hide behind real-life furniture. A museum app could show 3D animations when you walk past an exhibit. A grocery store could highlight sale items and guide shoppers to the right shelf.
Unlike most emerging virtual reality systems, Tango doesn’t need external equipment to recreate the world digitally. And, unlike Google Maps, it can figure out the details of a space without additional data sources. “Tango is the indoor extension of their outdoor mapping platform,” said Lex Dreitser, a virtual reality developer who builds Tango applications.
Source: The Economic Times
Tango started in a Google research lab back in 2014, but they’re trying to take it mainstream this year. It’s going into new smartphones from Intel and Lenovo Group and the software has been updated to let it easily run on more devices.
Google will showcase progress at its I/O Developer Conference near its Silicon Valley headquarters next week.