11 Apr Exploring Project Tango, Unboxing & Apps to Download
So you have just got your hands on a shiny new Dev Kit from Project Tango. Congrats! We found the ordering and delivery process to be very quick here in Ireland. It was ordered on a Monday and arrived Tuesday morning, Impressive logistics.
Project Tango Unboxing
Out of the Box you will get:
- The Tango Device
- A landscape charging dock which a great setup for your desk and testing
- A micro USB to standard USB cable under a metre long for, charging, development and debugging direct to Android Studio and Unity
- An AC charger that plugs directly into the dock base and not the Device itself
Plug the AC charger into your power outlet and into the base of the charging doc. Alternatively you can use the USB to charge via your laptop or other source. The on switch is located top right next to the volume buttons. Hold down on this for a second or two. Be patient. If charged the Project Tango logo will appear and rotate for a few seconds before you are taken to a standard android desktop.
If you are new to Android most take a moment to get acquainted. The most used keys are the three at the bottom of the screen. The left arrow is essentially a back or escape button, use this to exit apps (bear in mind they can continue to run and consume resources). The Home button which brings you to the main screen where you will see all the app icons. Finally the Recents button which brings up thumbnails of the running or most recent apps.
Downloading Project Tango Apps
In order to download Project Tango apps we need to go to the Play Store. It will be a default icon sitting on your home screen. If you can’t see it hit the home button and swipe left and right a few times until you find the icon. In the Play Store search bar type Project Tango. You should now see a long list of apps tagged to the project. To download you simply click on the icon and then download.
Showcasing Project Tango, Your First App Downloads
- Project Tango Core
- Project Tango Constuctor
- Project Tango Explorer
- Tango MiniTown
- Car Visualizer
- iStaging Pro
This is one of the coolest apps Tango has to offer. Hit the record button and start building a 3d point cloud of your surroundings. Switch from first person to third or top view to pinch and zoom around what you have scanned. Lots of settings to try out by clicking on the three dots on the top right.
Using most of the core functionalities that Tango has to offer the Explorer app is an introduction to the concept of area learning. Move around the room and watch as it’s recorded in the XYZ access. To find out more visit the official documentation for the app.
Watch your shins with this one. The official blaster app from Google’s ATAP. You will find yourself instantly immersed and walking around the room, ducking and dodging. A great introduction to Tango’s potential as a gaming platform.
I thought this one was pretty cool. I love the potential of Tango to create something blurring the lines of Lego and Theme park or Sim City. This app allows you to stand over and manipulate a tiny little world.
While not my favourite I’ve added this one because it’s heavily featured in Tango’s promo material. It never seems to map well to the area I’m in and drifts a bit. I’ve found when going full AR on Tango smaller items or characters placed in the environment work better and don’t exaggerate any potential drift experienced. All the same it’s pretty cool to walk around this car and sit inside. Now is a good time to realise you look pretty ridiculous right now kneeling on the office floor looking while looking at the dashboard.
Official Project Tango Apps to Get Started
- Project Tango Explorer – Area learning, Indoor Mapping
- Project Tango Core – This is a prerequisite for installing all Tango apps controls updates etc.
- Project Tango Constructor – Visually map and create point clouds of your environment
- Project Tango Area Manager – Keep a record of your area maps
Other Project Tango App Examples
- Project Tango Mearureit – Measure objects in the real world using this AR tool
- Wizard Demo – Top down view of a a wizards 3d world
- AR wars – Setup up space stations in different parts of the room and battle it out in AR
- Ghostly Mansion – Navigate through a mansion as a departed victim
- Tango Cube Stack – Basic Minecrafting
- IStaging Pro – AR furniture placement, a bit buggy but worth a look
- We’ll add more as the community recommends
By now you’ve unboxed, got your Tango setup and downloaded a few examples of what’s possible on your new Tango device. If you are anything like us you’re salivating to get developing your ideas. Next step is to try our Installing and Setting up Project Tango tutorial for Unity. If you’d like to collaborate on building out your AR or computer vision ideas we’d love to hear from you.
Would you recommend an Tango App to download, leave a note in the comments for the rest of the community.