Google's Project Tango Team Visits Cogswell College

Recently, a small group from Google visited Cogswell College to demonstrate Project Tango, a brand new Android-based mobile device that has the ability to view and navigate the world through advanced computer vision, image processing, and special vision sensors.

The Cogswell class, which is currently learning to use Unity, was tasked with testing the devices, running an application, and providing feedback as they went along. Google called it a Code Lab event, the purpose of which was to iron out and fix any bugs in the system before this year's Google I/O conference in roughly two months. Students debugged Google's sample instructions, tested and ran the code, and followed development environment instructions - all while under the direction of watchful and curious Google engineers. Google had previously tested these devices at a large company without much success and were impressed to see that Cogswell students were not only successful, but produced better results and provided higher quality feedback.

Google's Project Tango at Cogswell CollegeGoogle's Project Tango at Cogswell College

For the demo, students were each provided with a Tango tablet device, USB cables, a pin code to unlock the devices, and a URL in which they found further instructions. The students booted up their devices and launched a 3D mapping app which tracked their movements. As they moved around the classroom, the students got feedback through interactive mapping, cloud arrays and more. The students then went through a series of environments to get an app running in Unity, importing that app into their devices, then running that app on their devices as they moved around.

The success rate of the tests and demos was 100%, much better than other tests that Google had done before. Whenever any of the students would get stuck, they would first work together for a solution, using the Google engineers as a last resort. Working together led all students to success. As the class progressed, the Code Lab event slowly turned into a seminar where students brainstormed potential applications for the technology.  Ideas included a music application for better microphone location/tracking within a room and an app capable of creating 3D sound environments. The demo was a huge success and both students and Google employees walked away with new knowledge - and an amazing experience!

Based on notes from John Duhring with additional content and editing by Juan Rubio and Rachael Sass

April 16, 2015