Project Tango has long been in its formative stages, but Google is looking to nurture it into something much more exciting starting this year. With a heavy presence at Google I/O — including its potential use in Google’s first ever standalone VR headset — it’s really taking off.
Bloomberg’s latest report sheds some light on some of their other plans for the technology. Google is reportedly looking to build a full-blown indoor mapping platform to offer to businesses who want to give virtual tours. The tech would reportedly record not only the geometrical 3D shape of a building’s innards, but also take photos to texture it so virtual “visitors” can feel like they’re right there.
That in itself is exciting, but it could be small fish in the pond compared to a potential expansion of Google Maps’ scope — what if they’re planning to make indoor maps just as prominent as their outdoorsy offering? They’ve mentioned it as an idea before, so it’s not too far-fetched to suggest they have something like that in the works.
Google is no stranger to indoor mapping, with the company offering it for several significant venues over the years, but the maps are little more than floor plans and availability has been very limited and not as widespread as we once expected. A commercially-available solution to 3D indoor mapping could make it much easier to get all of the world’s buildings onto Google Maps, and also enhance the experience by giving you a Street View-like view of the building that you can virtually walk through.
Of course, that’s perhaps thinking a bit too far ahead. We’re just under a week away from Google IO, so we’ll wait until Google gives us an update on their big plans for this exciting new tech.