Google shows off Project Tango’s mobile AR potential

Google has demonstrated a number of potential uses for its Project Tango mobile AR technology at Google I/O.

Project Tango was announced in early 2014, operating under Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) team. It’s essentially a way to make mobile devices more spatially aware, and to see and record the world around them.

We knew there was bags of potential in the idea, having had hands-on time with a prototype last year. Now Google has been demonstrating some fresh ideas as to what developers can do with Project Tango hardware.

Google has had a number of Project Tango demos available to try out at Google I/O this week. But perhaps more exciting than these demos was a video Google’s Johnny Lee (via VentureBeat) showed off various research projects that were underway, which really highlighted the potential of Project Tango.

Related: What is HoloLens?

One that particularly stood out to us from a practical perspective was a video of ultra-precise indoor navigation in use, complete with a waypoint overlay on the phone’s display. It looks a bit like a modern first person shooter game, except those little digital breadcrumbs lead to a delicious meal or an important appointment rather than a virtual bloodbath.

Also shown off was the potential to map large buildings in 3D from the outside, which another demo showed how Project Tango could detect and remove moving objects from a captured 3D image. It really is like your own personal Google Maps capturing device.

Google even showed off how Project Tango could help space robotics, enabling operators to accurately track the position and movements of their robots from thousands of miles away.

Next, check out our Oculus Rift unboxing video:

It’s all looking very impressive indeed, and with Lenovo’s first commercial Project Tango handset just around the corner, we’re rather excited to give it a proper spin.

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