Mobile

Google has an indoor positioning tech within the works, known as VPS


Google has introduced it’s engaged on a service to supply detailed indoor location positioning utilizing its Tango 3D sensing laptop imaginative and prescient tech.

“One factor we’ve seen clearly is that AR is strongest when it’s tightly coupled to the true world, and the extra exactly the higher,” mentioned Clay Bavor, talking at Google’s I/O convention right now. “That’s why we’ve been working with the Google Maps crew on a service that can provide units entry to very exact location info indoors.”

Bavor described the characteristic as “sort of like GPS” however as an alternative of speaking to satellites — which isn’t essentially viable given indoor reception points — the cameras on a Tango system triangulate place based mostly on “distinct visible options within the surroundings”.

“We expect it’s going to be extremely helpful in an entire bunch of locations,” he mentioned.

Google’s identify for the tech is “visible positioning service” — or VPS.

Bavor gave the instance of a giant DIY retailer the place a consumer is looking for a specific merchandise. “Think about sooner or later your telephone may simply take you to that precise screwdriver and level it out to you on the shelf,” he mentioned.

He didn’t give a selected timeframe for a launch — saying solely that the tech is “working right now”.

He additionally confirmed a video demo of the system which makes use of a collection of visible characteristic factors to navigate indoors, and determines the place it’s by evaluating new factors with beforehand noticed ones so “the telephone can determine precisely the place it’s in house — down to a couple centimeters”.

It’s unclear how properly it could honest in inside environments with out too many distinct visible options to latch on to, nonetheless.

“GPS can get you to the door. After which VPS can get you to the precise merchandise that you simply’re in search of,” he added.

The demo drew a spherical of applause from the I/O crowd.

Google launched a dev equipment for its Tango tech again in 2015, and the primary client system was launched final yr (made by Lenovo). A second gen Tango system is because of launch this summer time, famous Bavor, flagging up how units are getting smaller. “You possibly can think about way more units having this functionality sooner or later,” he added.

He additionally hinted at one other potential future use-case for the situation positioning tech — aiding individuals with visible impairment.

“Additional out, think about what this know-how may imply to individuals with impaired imaginative and prescient. VPS in an audio-based interface may remodel how they make their method via the world.”

VPS will likely be “vital” for camera-based interfaces, he added — noting that it will likely be a core part of Google Lens, the clever digital camera tech Google additionally introduced right now.