2014-02-21 11_48_43-Here’s An Actual 3D Indoor Map Of A Room Captured With Google’s Project Tango Ph

Google's newly announced Project Tango phone is packed full of sensors to give it a three dimensional understanding of its surroundings. Just how good is it at creating a 3D map? Well, now there's a video showing off what the prototype can do.

The test video comes courtesy of computer vision firm Matterport, which is one of the few companies Google chose to give an early prototype to. In the video you can see the phone being swept around the room, and it's not some perfectly designed test space – there's a bunch of junk all over the place. Project Tango still does a pretty good job, especially considering it is only equipped with a 4MP camera right now.

2014-02-21 11_56_13-Here’s An Actual 3D Indoor Map Of A Room Captured With Google’s Project Tango Ph 2014-02-21 11_57_30-Here’s An Actual 3D Indoor Map Of A Room Captured With Google’s Project Tango Ph 2014-02-21 11_57_08-Here’s An Actual 3D Indoor Map Of A Room Captured With Google’s Project Tango Ph

2014-02-21 11_56_34-Here’s An Actual 3D Indoor Map Of A Room Captured With Google’s Project Tango Ph 2014-02-21 11_56_47-Here’s An Actual 3D Indoor Map Of A Room Captured With Google’s Project Tango Ph

Project Tango could be used for precise location awareness, immersive video games, or even to create a 3D map of WiFi signal strength. The possibilities are endless once developers get their hands on it.


Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • Chris

    Wow that looks pretty dang good for something still in the early phases...

  • Js__

    This could be amazing if its done correctly, and isn't trashed in a few years.

  • 9Johnnyn9ne9

    Seems interesting...

  • Zargh
  • remister

    The next step of Photospheres

    • Ygor Vaz

      Imagine how cool it would be. "On my vacations I went to a really cool hotel! Here, let me show it to you"

      • Stuffy Boo

        Or Better... "On my vacations I met a sexy girl! Here, let me show you".

    • Cerberus_tm

      They could use this to make 3D renderings of all streets in Street View as you drive through them. It should be possible if you mount such a thing on a Google van.

      • David

        Street View cars already scan in 3D. When using Street View, notice how the cursor changes when you mouse over surfaces with different orientations. They also use the 3D info to aid in transitions between images.

        They use different tech, though. I think the phone uses projected infrared light, which doesn't work outside.

        • Cerberus_tm

          Really? But...I think they just run some algorithm on those photos, they have no video recorded. It's no real 3D like this.

          • David

            Look at a picture of a street view vehicle. The white devices with the black cylinders in them are 3D scanners.

          • Cerberus_tm

            I believe they only take static pictures, no video recording; they make photo spheres, but nothing like Tango, right?

        • http://twitter.com/josephws Joseph Rahael

          yes, they already use the same technology in street view cars. But making it fit in a 9mm smartphone is the trick, the rendering looks very good for an alpha project.

          • Cerberus_tm

            Then why is Street View mostly a sequence of static photo spheres? It's nothing like Tango, it's not 3D (except to some degree the way the cursor changes, possibly based on a recognition of street outlines).

  • NemaCystX

    Considering Google is a powerful data company, I'd worry about this in their hands than anyone elses, well, besides the NSA that is.

    This, like anything else, could be used for "evil purposes"

    I don't know how exactly but it may seem harmless now, but wait till everyone has the capability

    • Chahk Noir

      "Could be used for evil purposes" can be said just about everything ever created. You can't let the fear of unknown get in the way of progress.

    • h4rr4r

      So put your bong away before you scan the room, duh.

    • HDScorpio

      This new technology will be used to map as many places as possible. The more inside maps they have the easier it will be to verify target scans when the robots are unleashed!

  • solbin

    Working in the architect/engineering field... This would be insanely useful for renovating existing buildings.

    • JeffP

      First thing I thought about when I saw the images (also an architect). Add digital field annotations too

  • h4rr4r

    3d wifi mapping I would pay for in a heartbeat.

  • henry

    I'm scared!

  • Sorian

    I see great potential....or a horrible curse.

    Great potential: 3D mapping of high rises and buildings, give map to police and/or fire departments.

    Horrible curse: People start to take 3D image of their junk......Ew.

    • XDAMM

      How do you even start thinking about that?

      • Franco Rossel

        He knows the internet.

      • SlasH3R

        Rule 34

    • sguyx

      Is it horrible because they take pics or is it horrible because you can not be without watching and then (maybe) horrified? Because I dont know why you should be worried about people taking photos because you dont need to see them... Unless...

      • Sorian

        I don't even need to see them to know someone will be dumb enough to try, it gets on the net, and then that is all that is talked about for a week (or more if it is a "celebrity").

  • Nicholas Polydor

    Photo Sphere is so 2012.

    How likely will it be for Project Tango technology to feature in the 2014 Nexus? Perhaps a premium model?

    • pfmiller

      2014? No. Maybe 2015 at the earliest.

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Considering this is still in a prototype phase and is not available for any kind of user testing - I don't think it'll be polished out enough to be packed into next Nexus (e.g. into next Android release) so 2014 is definately too early for this to be included as a standard feature

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Everyone in favor of calling project Tango "Kinect on a stick" say aye.


    • someone755

      KinectDog? CornKinect? HotKinect?
      Artem, my dear boy, the possibilities are endless!

    • kamiller42

      It appears Tango is using a different method to achieve 3D mapping. Or, are we calling anything which scans a room in 3D Kinect now? And forever?

      • http://shanked.me/ Shank

        I would much rather call it "Project Natal"

    • Ygor Vaz

      More like a Kinect glued to an wiimote

    • David Sousa

      I think they plan to make a robotic Pacino by Boston Dynamics, and set it to dance on the Googleplex halls at night in order to teach Brin how to be a better tango dancer.

      It's all for the amusement of Sergey, and the pieces are finally connecting!

  • ProductFRED

    I would love to see this used for level design in games.

    • sguyx

      Im quessing that a game industry is waiting this...

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Holy shit, Google just doesn't stop amazing with awesome stuff almost every day. Come to think of it, maybe Terminator's story (SkyNet) wasn't so fictional as it seemed a decade ago

  • qwertyx7

    Add in some content-aware fill to the mapping and you'll pretty much win

  • TSON1

    This is incredible. Imagine if you could use one of these 3D maps + navigation to find that business you're looking for in the mall.

  • hyperbolic

    Now Google will have even more info inside important buildings..

    • remister

      I am thinking this will help their Google Maps 3D models and also pictures inside business. Win-Win for GOOGLE.

    • sguyx

      Ehm.. You think that random guys go into these "important buildings", take their phones out from pockets and start recording for Google? Or maybe workers take their phones and start recording? What I have learnt when working inside "an inportant building", strangers wont come inside - they just wait at the lobby - it is a fullknown thing between workers that phographing or recording video is forbidden and usually there are signs at the lobby and on the walls etc... So I dont think that Google get 3D images from "important builduings" without a permission.

  • Mayoo

    Now let's play Counterstrike in those rendering!

    • MeCampbell30

      Nevermind, Kinect also does this. Still impressive.

  • MeCampbell30

    Impressive. I've never seen a computer algorithm estimate distance just based on the image.

    • Alan Shearer

      The device has a depth sensor/camara

  • lazrrocketarm

    How long until Apple files a patent claim on 3d mapping with a phone?

    • Dan Hibiki

      they had this same idea three years from now!

  • Homer Foresight

    FINALLY!. this is the technology I'm going to use to create a 3D scan of my penis, and then I am going to use a 3D printer to print copies of my penis so I can send it to everyone.

  • merri

    Combine with Oculus Rift... virtual reality's going to be taking off, and much sooner than I had hoped.

  • Göran Sävström

    So this is why there was a guy in my bank the other day waving a phone all over the place?
    - He was getting the layout of the place for an upcoming robbery!

  • free mind

    Oh-oho! Android police isn't so "neutral"! Why you erase my post? Because I said something that is true about Holy Google and how they are tracking us and leading us into the new way of slavery called "progress"? Thank you! I got one more proof that I don't got wrong!