It is not too surprising that, at the end of last month, Google decided to step up its AR game and bring one particularly important AR app out of its retired platform. Measure, the Project-Tango exclusive utility app has now flown its way into newer ARCore machines.
Measure was part of the set of big announcements Google unveiled when Project Tango was first introduced last 2016. The existence of this AR app was back then considered as a natural extrapolation of the platform’s advanced 3D mapping capabilities. With Project Tango, virtual spaces could be created by observing the world around the devices, which could then be manipulated and altered for various forms and purposes.
For Measure, this meant estimating and calculating distances. Endpoints associated with a selected object’s height and width can be dotted with virtual markers, connecting visual placeholders as the device detects them. This information is then used by the app to provide a measurement, or an approximation of the distance of the selected area’s endpoints.
At the very least, that was how the app was meant to be designed. Significant error margins definitely reduced its overall purpose as a function-optimized AR app. However, the theme of being a universally usable AR app still remained.
Everyone familiar with augmented reality already knows that the technology currently still suffers from the lack of a true killer app. Measure, as an AR app, was in some form designed to become the next representative of what functional apps would be, by being simple, easy to use, and having a nearly ubiquitous purpose. Sure, it is no Visicalc, or Google.com, or iOS, but it comes even closer (at least by definition) to what might take AR to the everyday, mundane life-level of practicality.
As for its shift to ARCore, Measure is now updated with newer visuals and interface, as well as a definite tweak in its measuring accuracy approximation. There are still a few kinks here and there, such as the rather odd persistence in keeping the intuitive drag-and-drop controls, as opposed to the less intuitive, but more access-friendly point-and-tap style of another well-known measuring AR app, ARuler. But it is now far more serviceable, especially on Pixel phones.
Also, as a broad disclaimer, Measure is a generic utility AR app. As amazing as it seems, it is best not to use Measure when you have the opportunity to use something much accurate. Its virtual space scanning features are still best utilized on objects and places that you couldn’t otherwise physically reach to measure.
Want to try the updated app now? You can download it now from Google Play Store.