Trimble showcased two concept apps running on the latest tablet platform of Google's Project Tango program, an initiative to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion. The Trimble concept applications, SketchUp Scan and Trimble Through The Wall, demonstrate potential new ways construction professionals could use their Google tablets for greater efficiency and insight on the job in the future.
The concept apps were demonstrated at the Google I/O Developer Conference.
Using depth sensors on the Tango device, SketchUp Scan enables users to quickly capture a room, apartment or entire floor in 3D and automatically create an editable model. This model can be shared by email or on a variety of social networks, including Google+, Facebook and Twitter. The model also can be uploaded from the Tango device to the 3D Warehouse, Trimble's platform for posting and sharing 3D models.
"Many 3D applications for smartphones and tablets attempt to capture the full scope of a room, but SketchUp Scan has the unique ability to create an editable 3D SketchUp model," said Omar-Pierre Soubra, director of Collaboration at Trimble. "Having the ability to edit the 3D model of the space right after the image capture enables users to add features — from windows and doors, to furniture, office equipment or nearly anything else — using millions of 3D models available in the 3D Warehouse."
Trimble Through The Wall leverages the tracking capabilities of Tango devices to reveal what is located inside walls and other structures. Using data from Computer-Aided Design (CAD) or 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) software, such as Tekla Structures, Trimble Through The Wall can display and overlay pipes, electrical wires and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) infrastructure on top of walls, at their correct location.
"Trimble's leadership in technologies for building design, construction and renovation — as well as our portfolio of positioning, modeling and visualization software — made it only natural for us to develop a Tango concept application that tracks and displays what is behind a wall," said Bryn Fosburgh, vice president responsible for Trimble's Construction Technology Divisions. "Since Tango devices are designed to be aware of their environment and location, they provide an excellent complement to our strategy of making construction more efficient and transparent."
SketchUp Scan and Trimble Through The Wall are concept applications running on the Project Tango Tablet development kits. These development kits are provided by Google only to professional developers, providing a "sandbox" in which developers can experiment with various concept applications. The final functionality of Trimble's concept applications are still under design.