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By ihenry February 21, 2014 2 Comments

Google unveiled Project Tango, an experimental project from the company’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group. The former Motorola team is working on a prototype smartphone that would analyze and map the 3D environment surrounding a device.


In its current form, Tango is a 5-inch prototype Android smartphone powered in part by the Myriad 1, a low-powered, vision-processing chip custom designed by Movidius for Google. Like most accessory chips, the 3D processing consumes minimal power as it does not involve the activity of the SoC.  The sensors in the phone are capable of making more than 250 million 3D measurements every second, which are then used by the Myriad 1 to build a 3D model of the phone’s surroundings.


Google’s Project Tango smartphone maps your world in 3D

Google explains that Project Tango is more than a just an experiment and has practical applications.   The 3D maps could also help the visually impaired navigate unfamiliar buildings as well as provide gamers with a virtual playground in every room. The Project Tango phone could be used to realtors, who could scan a room and receive all the dimensions in just a few minutes.


Google has 200 developer phones and will distribute those units to developers who are in the best position to take advantage of the technology.


The hardware includes custom APIs that provide developers with access to location data like the phone’s position, orientation, and depth.  Tango is not a “final shipping product”, but it is far enough along that Google is ready to hand it out to developers. This information  then can be used in Android applications, including those that arewritten in Java, C++, or the Unity Game Engine.


Developers can submit their credentials and the applications they would build with Project Tango to the ATAP group at the Project Tango web site.


Google’s Project Tango smartphone maps your world in 3D



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