At the Google I/O keynote presentation today, Clay Bavor, Vice President of Virtual Reality for Google, shared a number of new initiatives in virtual and augmented reality. This included new services for the Tango platform called visual positioning service, or VPS.
The Tango team worked with the Google Maps team to develop the service, which allows devices to triangulate location based on observed visual features.
"One thing we've seen, clearly, is that AR is most powerful when it's tightly coupled to the real world, and the more precisely, the better," said Bavor during the keynote presentation.
Bavor presented an example available today at Lowe's home improvement stores. With VPS, Tango devices compare feature points against previously observed points, allowing customers to find exact items in the store. In addition, Bavor hinted at the potential to use VPS to map environments for visually-impaired users.
Bavor also demonstrated augmented reality features in the Google Expeditions platform for education that will be available later this year. The app uses Tango's sensors to map a classroom and place 3D visualizations within the space for students to explore.
Bavor also briefly previews the forthcoming Asus ZenFone AR, which will be available this summer.
I'm still amazed that none of Google's own phones incorporate Tango. Doesn't give you much of a sense of confidence....
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