Google’s Project Tango has been around for a little while now and it’s exciting stuff. Previously the project involved packing an Android smartphone with cameras and sensors which, along with the Project Tango software, allows it to track the full 3D motion of the device and not only does it track it, but it also memorises it, so it can create a map of the environment.
Google gave 200 of these smartphone prototypes to developers to see what they could use the tech for, but now Project Tango is getting bigger as the company has developed a tablet that uses the technology.
Once again this is just a prototype which will be available in limited quantities and if you think you might want one you might want to think again as it will set you back $1024 (£609) when it launches in June. But this is good news for developers and anyone else with an interest in Project Tango. It will get the technology into the hands of far more people and thereby speed up the development of applications for it.
Plus as the Project Tango tablet uses Nvidia’s K1 mobile processor (along with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage) it should be plenty powerful, giving developers the freedom to do more or less whatever they want with the technology.
Possible applications of the technology, whether on phone or tablet, include advanced augmented reality gaming, where your whole house could be transformed into a persistent environment, and of course it also has a lot of potential for detailed mapping, perhaps extending Google Maps to indoor locations.
Extending that idea, Project Tango could also be a real help to visually impaired people, as it could perhaps describe an environment to them to help them navigate it and avoid obstacles. As more developers get their hands on it we’re sure all sorts of weird and wonderful uses will be dreamt up.
Sadly whether in phone or tablet form it’s not something that’s commercially available yet, but Google’s tablet prototype is a big step in the right direction, so you never know, a few years from now this technology could be as ubiquitous as Google Maps and if it can be shrunk down enough it could even find its way into smartwatches and other wearable’s.
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