Google has just released details about their newly launched Project Tango. The project features a 5″ Android phone which possesses 3D sensors, akin to those on Microsoft’s Kinect. The Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group at Google is responsible for this innovative progress, and the group is lead by none other than Regina Dugan.
The phone is unlike any other in that it uses its sensors to not only track movement, but also to create a 3D map of its surroundings as it moves. The result, as you will see in the video below, is a stunning yet complicated array of calculations and renderings in real time. The team at Google are excited about the possibilities that this technology will make available to them and stated that “The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.” The prototype device features customized hardware and software which covers a wide range of movement, and is able to calculate space and distance as it does this. As expected, it runs on Android and its APIs, though still in development, should be ready for developers to begin creating applications soon.
Besides navigation and mapping, the team hopes that games will soon be able to take advantage of the technology. This could easily pave the way for another round of Ingress-like games — games that are based on our real world surroundings, and not just virtual ones. All this is made possible with the use of a processor named the Myriad 1. This chip is manufactured by Movidius, a startup which focuses on extreme levels of mobile performance and efficiency, and which possesses a wealth of talent; powerful enough to reshape and restructure the way we use our phones.
Despite the selling of Motorola by Google, they decided to hold on to not just the patents, but the ATAP team also, and with good reason. Before today’s revelation, there was no leak, hint or suggestion of this device, but here we have it, and with what seems to be a working demo as well. Our minds have officially began straying as we anticipate the great things that this team will produce in the near future. Google has once again stuck it’s head out ahead of the competition with this move, but I can’t help but wonder about who actually designed and manufactured this phone. I would love to see a Google built phone in the future. Wouldn’t you?