– Bradley Osburn
Google announced their next technology initiative, Project Tango, in late February, and among the companies collaborating with the tech. giant is Paracosm, Gainesville’s own 3D-modelling company. Project Tango looks to take software like Paracosm’s and place it into smartphones equipped with 3D cameras.
“We both see that 3D modelling is a means to an end,” co-founder Amir Rubin said. “3D modelling just lets computers understand the real world. A lot of our competitors see 3D modelling as the end, but we want to go further.”
Paracosm is out to 3D-ify the world, he said, and the applications are almost endless. Having a 3D camera in a pair of glasses will allow visually impaired people to receive audible directions from the software, hospital robots to find patient’s rooms based on room assignment and new hires for companies to be given a virtual orientation, among hundreds of other possibilities.
Paracosm is one of three companies providing Google with software, he said, while the others are parts suppliers and manufacturers. The two have been working together for about eight months, he said, and their collaboration began after a Google researcher Paracosm was already working with was added to the Tango team, so Paracosm was introduced to Google giants and Tango spearheaders Johnny Lee and Ryan Hickman.
Now that Tango is announced, Rubin said that the two will transition from Paracosm helping Google build the prototype phones to Paracosm making sure that their software works with the hardware and building apps. Google will send out 200 development kits for testing in the near future.
“I don’t see this as a gimmick,” Rubin said. “We see it as a pioneering, trailblazing thing that is going to change mobile devices. We’re already seeing a demand for devices that can understand and interact with the world, and 3D is going to become standard.”
Paracosm isn’t dependent on Google, though, and Rubin said that Paracosm is making sure that their software will work on any 3D camera. Customers will be able to buy Paracosm-branded camera kits or subscribe to their cloud-based map service, and though prices are not set yet, the company is looking to launch its own product line in late October.
“This is a communication tool that you can use to communicate exactly what your space looks like,” Rubin said. “3D’s going to change the world.”