Kitware Announces Tutorial for Google Project Tango

Kitware is pleased to announce the release of a tutorial that describes how to use ParaView to extract, process, and visualize data from Google Project Tango development kits. The purpose of the tutorial is to promote the faster development of the open Project Tango platform.

Google’s Project Tango is a platform for Android phones and tablets designed to track the full 3-dimensional motion of the device as you hold it, while simultaneously creating a map of the environment around it. The devices track themselves with an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), while simultaneously collecting 3D points with a built-in depth-sensing camera. A limited number of devices have been made available to early testers and developers, and Kitware is fortunate to have two of them.

The full details of the process are available in a tutorial on Kitware’s website. Using the plugin and visualization capabilities of ParaView, users can interact with their Project Tango data without having to write a single line of code. In addition, for those who do not have Project Tango Development kits, the tutorial provides links to download sample data.

The process starts with gathering data from the devices using the Android SDK. Then, this data is read into ParaView using a Tango specific data plugin that is available as open source download. The data is by nature 3D+time, meaning that it is a sequence of point clouds acquired over time. This data includes readings of the device position and orientation in 3D space, which indicate where the device was and the direction in which it was pointing at the moment a particular point cloud was acquired.

After being loaded into ParaView, the point clouds are aligned and stitched together. ParaView can then use its animation capabilities to display the intermediate point clouds and how they contribute to reconstruct a larger area of space around the device. Filters are available from the Visualization Toolkit (VTK) and the Point Cloud Library (PCL) for advanced analysis. Example data sets are available for download on the MIDAS platform along with installers for the customized ParaView builds for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Kitware will continue exploring the use of the Project Tango devices for engineering, simulation, measurements and in particular, medical applications.

Questions or comments are always welcome!