When Google sold off Motorola Mobility, it held onto the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) assets -- and it appears we're now getting a bit of look at Google's bigger-picture vision behind the reason why: Project Tango.
Google has been working with universities, research labs, and industrial partners to build a unique 3D mapping-capable mobile phone. The device, Google says, will enable mobile phones to have a "human-scale understanding of space and motion," allowing for a deeper interaction with the surrounding environment.
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Tango exists as a 5-inch Android phone prototype. The prototype phone has customized hardware and software, which allows it to track the motion of the device in full 3D in real time. The suite of sensors can make more than 250 million 3D measurements every second.
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3D models of the surrounding environment
The phone then uses the data to build a single 3D model of the surrounding environment. Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics, says the device will solve the indoor navigation problem.
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The prototype phone includes a 4MP camera, two computer vision processors, integrated depth sensing, and a motion tracking camera.
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Project Tango concept
The front and back of the Project Tango concept phone.
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Real world to virtual world
With the indoor mapping technology, the prototype phone can be used to make quick and easy virtual world re-creations of real-world environments.
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From research to real world
Johnny Lee of Google's Advanced Technology and Projects says this unique phone is the product of 10 years of thinking put into one fundamentally different prototyping device, potentially changing what a phone is and could be.