After making huge strides in the innovative Google Glass (wearable computer), search engine giant Google is now embarking on a new project titled 'Tango', which is expected to revolutionize 3D viewing technology in smartphones.
Google's new project Tango is taking shape at the ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects), a division of the formerly owned company Motorola Mobility (now set to be acquired by Lenovo).
"The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion," said Johnny Lee, ATAP member.
Tango is a 5.0-inch prototype smartphone that comes equipped with customized hardware and software, capable of tracking full 3D motion of the device, while simultaneously generating maps of the surrounding space. The sensors are capable of making more than 250 thousand 3D measurements per second, continuously creating real-time single 3D-model of the environment around the user.
Check this official video detailing Project Tango:
Google's pet smartphone expectedly runs on the Android OS with Unity Game Engine, as well as additional APIs (Application Program Interface) to give position, orientation, in-depth data to the standard Android applications (written Java, C/C++).
More APIs and algorithms are expected to get added along the progress of the project, before the product is finished.
The Google project has been under closed doors for almost a year now, with the company closely working with top universities, research labs, and some industrial associates in nine countries across the world, in its bid to harvest decades of work on robotics and computer vision into the smartphone.
What are the applications of the Project Tango?
One of the major benefactors would be the gaming industry. Users will be able to play character games using their own house as the gaming arena.
And on the social front, the smartphone will be a huge help to the visually impaired population. It is said give accurate navigation guidance when blind people find themselves at an unchartered place or a building premise. Like when shopping for groceries, the smartphone can take you directly to the shelf containing the product you are looking for.
Other applications include mapping and navigation in underground tunnels especially during exploring uncharted caves as well sunken ships under water.
Is the 3D Tango smartphone ready?
Not yet, says Google. As of now, the company has a stock pile of 200 dev units and is in need of motivated developers to add value to this revolutionary smartphone. The prototypes will be distributed to voluntary developers who are ready to work on the phone by 14 March 2014.
[Interested developers, who are eager to enroll or submit their ideas for the Project Tango, click here.]