Developers start mapping with Project Tango

AUTHOR: Inavate

Developers are beginning to harness the potential of Google’s prototype smartphone – Project Tango - using the devices 3D environment mapping capability. Early indications suggest that retail could be just one sector to benefit, with customers able order goods with specific dimensions they supply after mapping something – or themselves – with the device.

Styku, a 3D body-scanning startup, are one company working on creating a demo that uses the technology. It has already created another system which uses Microsoft Kinnect and enables customers to scan their body prior to ordering clothing to ensure it is a perfect fit.

This system costs around €4,400 but company CEO Raj Sareen forsees that in the future people will be able to do exactly the same thing using just a Styku app that harnesses the 3D depth sensors within the phone. The current app Styku is working on involves creating 3D models of peoples’ heads simply by holding the phone in front of someone and moving it in a semi-circle around their face.

Paracosm want to create video games featuring 3D indoor mapping so that users can scan their environment before launching an interactive game within it. This is similar to augmented reality apps that exist on the iPad which allow shoppers to see how items look in their home before they purchase them, and this new software could easily be used by retailers in this way.

Other researchers have fitted the phone to autonomous quadcopters, with the goal of one day being able to send a swarm of the devices over a disaster site to quickly create an accurate model for rescuers to work from.