The Palau Nacional (Catalan for National Palace) is a gigantic Renaissance-style palace built in 1929 that now serves as the main art museum in Barcelona. Google sent me into that gorgeous maze of never-ending halls and corridors armed only with a Project Tango Prototype. We already know that Lenovo and Google are making a phablet that uses the crazy Project Tango tech. What we didn't know for certain were the uses for that technology. At MWC I discovered that it is a pretty solid indoor navigation system when you have no GPS, no Wi-Fi and no clue.
I can confirm that is reeeeally easy to get lost in the halls and corridors of the Palau Nacional. Yet Project Tango manages to know its (and my) exact position just scanning its whereabouts. You move the tablet left to right in front of you, allowing Project Tango to visually ascertain your location, and a virtual trail of blue dots appears to guide you.
Of course, once you are not lost any more, why not enjoying some fine arts? When you get close to a designated point, the software let you scan a painting and explore some of its points for extra info in a nice augmented reality setup.
The system is far from perfect. If too many people cross the path of the camera, Project Tango looses the trail and you have to stop and scan patiently around you to let the software find your position again.
It doesn't work in any place either. Before it can work someone has to visit it with the app and map the surroundings. The map can then be downloaded and shared.
Despite that, the Project Tango "Indoor" ability is an unexpected and welcome tool that may be very useful for navigating tricky modern mazes like shopping centres or central train stations.
It's at least better than leaving breadcrumbs all along the way.
Images: Carlos Zahumenszky
Museum Image: Wikipedia Commons