Google's Project Tango prototype smartphone and software kit for developers just unveiled less than 24 hours ago - but there's already a video online that reveals what it can currently do.
TechCrunch has published a first-look video demo from Matterport, one of the first companies to receive a Project Tango prototype from Google. Any interested developer is currently able to sign up for access to Project Tango, though Google said it would hand pick a group of 200 developers. Developers who can prove they have a solid idea are eligible to receive a kit by 14 March.
Matterport creates 3D models of interior spaces, and it has already used a Project Tango smartphone to create a map of a basement-like room. You can watch a sneak peek of the initial results in the video below. The footage is a combination of Matterport's software and Project Tango. Speaking of Matterport's software, TechCrunch said it could record "both color camera data and a full mesh of 3D data at once".
The Project Tango smartphone is a 5-inch prototype with a 4MP camera, so it cannot capture too much detail, but Matterport said 3D-mapping capabilities could only improve with a higher-resolution camera. That said, Project Tango currently succeeds at delivering "a human-scale understanding of space and motion" (which is what Google was hoping to achieve with its latest endeavor).
With the ability to track motion and scan in 3D, Project Tango has the potential to spearhead indoor navigation, immersive gaming, and augmented reality. Applications might include, for instance, being able to capture the dimensions of your home by walking around with your phone, playing hide-and-seek in your house with a game character, transforming your hallways into a tree-lined path, and much more.