Google unveils Project Tango, an effort to give smartphones 3D vision
Google on Thursday revealed that it is experimenting with new vision and sensory capabilities for the smartphones. “We are physical beings that live in a 3D world. Yet, our mobile devices assume that physical world ends at the boundaries of the screen,” the company states.
Now, to change this, the company has unveiled Project Tango, an initiative with which it wants to change how smartphones interact with space and motion. “The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion,” Google adds.
As a part of Project Tango, the company has introducing a prototype smartphone, which it has developed over the course of the past year in partnership with various universities, research labs and industries. This smartphone comes with more imaging hardware and sensors than you will find in any current smartphone, to help the phone understand its surroundings.
“Our current prototype is a 5” phone containing customized hardware and software designed to track the full 3D motion of the device, while simultaneously creating a map of the environment. These sensors allow the phone to make over a quarter million 3D measurements every second, updating its position and orientation in real-time, combining that data into a single 3D model of the space around you,” Google explains.
What can be done with this prototype smartphone?
According to Google, the phone will learn the dimension of rooms and spaces just by being moved around inside of them with the phone. It can be used for indoor mapping or helping visually impaired to move around or even to find the exact location of a product in a super-store. The use cases are endless.
The prototype runs on Android with experimental APIs to let apps access the data collected using the sensors and cameras. While Google itself is working to create rocking apps, which can affectivity use the given nifty tools but it also wants to let the adventurous and dreamy professional developers get hold of this prototype hardware and make apps. Thus, it is offering 200 professional kits containing the prototype. You can more about getting these here.