Here Comes Google’s 3D-Sensing Tango Smartphone

What kind of apps could be created for a smartphone that was optimized to detect the three-dimensional space around it? ThatEUs what Google wants to find out.

The Advanced Technology and Projects group at Google issued an invitation on Thursday for developersEU proposals for applications built for this experimental Project Tango device. The company said it has 200 prototype dev kits, to be distributed by the middle of next month, for EUpartners who will push the technology forward and build great user experiences on top of this platform.EU

The Tango phone utilizes custom hardware and software that takes a quarter of a million measurements of 3D space every second. It uses a specialized depth sensor, motion tracking camera, and vision processing system that complement the standard gyroscope. Some have compared the prototype to a portable version of MicrosoftEUs popular Kinect controller, which can read hand gestures in space.

EUHuman-Scale UnderstandingEU

In a posting on the Project Tango blog, the company noted that visual clues are used by humans on a daily basis to navigate the world. EUThe goal of Project Tango,EU it said, EUis to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.EU

Google said its Tango team has been working with universities, research labs, and industrial partners in nine countries over the past year to cull research in robotics and computer vision, all for the purpose of EUconcentrating that technology into a unique mobile phone."

The Android-based prototype phone has a five-inch display, and its sensors and software update its position and orientation in real-time to create a single 3D model of the surrounding space. Development APIs help provide positioning, orientation and depth data, and the Android apps being run have been created in Java, C and C++ and the Unity Game Engine.

EUThese experimental devices,EU Google noted on the blog, EUare intended only...

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