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Google debuts new advanced Project Tango to make phones learn about surroundings

News by Andrew Kameka on Thursday February 20, 2014.

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Project Tango concept phone
Project Tango concept phone
Smartphones are often viewed as a way to rapidly connect users to information or people far away. Google today announced a new Project Tango that is designed to to gain a better understanding of the immediate area around its user. Project Tango features a reference design smartphone with a camera capable of tracking motion and using 3D sensors. The sensors take 250,000 measurements per second, allowing it to create 3D maps of a room. Someone could map a room and create a game or take 3D photographs more efficiently than current technology.

Why would you want to do this? I'm not exactly sure, but that's part of the fun. Google has created a reference design phone with this capability precisely to distribute it to developers and see how they are able to utilize the technology. The phone has a 4-megapixel camera, 2x computer vision processor, integrated depth sensing, and a motion tracking camera. The phone can track full 3D in real-time, so Google wants to see how people can create their own little Minecraft world or do something special like build navigation tools for people with visual impairments.

Project Tango is run by the Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) at Google. ATAP is also the former Motorola department handling Project Ara, which Google chose to retain in its sale of Motorola to Lenovo. ATAP will release development kits to select people in the coming months, so interested developers can apply to be included.

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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