Google tests ‘Project Tango’- a smartphone that sees your surroundings

21/02/2014

Google has revealed its latest foray into mobile mapping technology with ‘Project Tango’- a new smartphone with sensors that track the position of the smartphone in a full 3D space- with the added ability to map what's outside the phone.

Watch this video demonstrating how Project Tango will work below:

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Project Tango was created by a Google research team called ATAP in collaboration with other companies and groups. The technology can make as many as 250,000 3D measurements every second, according to Google.

The internet giant is hoping the technology can then be combined with other software to do things that current devices cannot do, such as help people navigate inside a large building, or map a home to assist in placing new pieces of furniture in just the right location.

The phone could even be used for gaming, creating a virtual world based on the 3D map made in the real one.

Google has created 200 hardware dev kits for "Project Tango" and will be sending a limited number of them to software developers to see what they can do with this prototype.

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Johnny Lee, the Technical Program Lead at ATAP, described the project: Project Tango strives to give mobile devices a human-like understanding of space and motion through advanced sensor fusion and computer vision, enabling new and enhanced types of user experiences – including 3D scanning, indoor navigation and immersive gaming.

The computer vision is enabled by a new co-processor from Movidius, called the "Myriad 1." The chip was designed from scratch to bring Kinect-style computer vision to smartphones, where size and power-draw are a huge challenge.

Google has not provided a commercial release date for Project Tango.

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