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Google's 3D-sensing tablet can now be yours, if you dare

Now anyone can buy the Project Tango test tablet, but Google cautions that it may not be everyone's cup of tea.

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Google has cut the price of its Project Tango tablet in half. Screenshot by CNET

Google's Project Tango tablet, a device in testing that features 3D mapping and sensing, is now 50 percent cheaper and available to anyone who wants it.

Google put the Tango tablet on sale for $512 on Thursday, just hours before the company plans to hold its keynote address at its annual developer confab, Google I/O. The "Project Tango Development Kit" is available to ship within one to two business days.

Project Tango was unveiled last year as a prototype for developers to try out "the future of mobile 3D motion and depth sensing." The tablet, which features a 7-inch display, is designed to see if mobile devices can develop human-like understanding of the environment in which they're found. In order to achieve that goal, Tango comes with sensors that measure depth, motion and other key environmental features. From there, software uses all of that information to create apps that are "self-aware" of the environment the slate is in.

Making Project Tango available to the public is part of Google's desire to get the technology in more hands and see what comes of it. The company last year started offering the tablet for $1,024 solely to developers. At the time, it noted that Project Tango was little more than a proof of concept and an opportunity for developers to use 3D technology to create new apps.

Not much has changed in the last year. While Google is now offering the product to anyone who goes to the company's online marketplace and it's doing so at a 50 percent discount off last year's price, Google noted on the listing that it's still a product designed for developers and shouldn't be purchased by consumers.

"Please be aware that the tablet is not a consumer-oriented device," Google writes. "These tablets are designed to enable software professionals to develop for the platform."

It's unclear why Google has reduced the price on its Project Tango tablet and why it's now offering the product to any customer, but it might have something to do with Google I/O. Later on Thursday, Google will hold a special keynote and it's possible that Project Tango, and its future, could be discussed.

Catch CNET's live blog from the Google I/O keynote starting at 9:30 a.m. PT for every minute of Google's big show.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.