Publications / 2017 Proceedings of the 34rd ISARC, Taipei, Taiwan

An Investigation of Google Tango® Tablet for Low Cost 3D Scanning

Mark Froehlich, Salman Azhar and Matthew Vanture
Pages 864-871 (2017 Proceedings of the 34rd ISARC, Taipei, Taiwan, ISBN 978-80-263-1371-7, ISSN 2413-5844)

Google Tango® is an augmented reality based Android tablet that contains customized hardware, an array of sensors, and software designed to track the full 3D motion of the device while simultaneously creating a map of the environment. The embedded sensors allow the device to make over a quarter million 3D measurements every second, updating its position and orientation in real-time, and combining that data into a single 3D model of the space around it. This arrangement allows users to create experiences such as indoor navigation, 3D mapping, augmented reality, physical space measurement, and environment recognition in a virtual world. The aim of this research study is to investigate the scope and accuracy of Google Tango® Tablet for generating 3D point cloud based scans that could be used for schematic designing, space management, and for renovations and retrofitting planning. In addition, other functionalities of Tango Tablet that could be useful to designers, constructors, and facility managers are investigated. A mixed-methods approach was adopted for this study. Four testing scenarios were designed to collect the necessary quantitative data. In addition, interviews with BIM/laser scanning professionals were conducted to get their insight and feedback. The data analysis indicated that the accuracy of 3D scans in most cases is fairly reasonable especially for schematic planning and this technology could provide significant cost and time savings within the design and construction industries. The paper first discusses the main concept and applications of Tango® tablet. After that, its possible applications for design, construction, and facility management are illustrated. This is followed by a brief discussion on the methodology and data collection methods. Based on the presented results, major findings and conclusions are outlined and recommendations for researchers and practitioners are presented.

Keywords: Project Tango®, Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) devices, 3D scanning, Point cloud, Augmented reality