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Google Launches Experimental, 3D-Mapping Smartphone [Video]

Project Tango is a prototype dev kit and phone that can track motion and build 3D-Scanned visual maps of rooms.

Leah Gonzalez
Leah Gonzalez on February 21, 2014. @leahgonz

Google just launched Project Tango, its latest initiative out of their Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group.

According to the project website, the goal of the project is “to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.” The tech company worked with research labs, universities, and industrial partners from around the globe to collect research on computer vision and robotics and integrate these technologies into a mobile phone.

The first result out of the project’s efforts is a 5-inch prototype phone that runs on Android and is fitted with customized hardware and software designed to track full 3D motion and build 3D visual maps of the environment. The phone has sensors that take measurements every second, updating the device’s position and orientation in real time and allowing the device to create a single three-dimensional model of the space around it.

Project-Tango-2

Google is hoping that this endeavor will be the solution to questions like ”What if you could capture the dimensions of your home simply by walking around with your phone before you went furniture shopping?” or “What if the visually-impaired could navigate unassisted in unfamiliar indoor places?”

Google is looking to give the prototype to professional developers who can create amazing things with the platform. The company is focusing on projects related to “indoor navigation/mapping, single/multiplayer games that use physical space, and new algorithms for processing sensor data.” The company also says it is open to applications that they haven’t thought of.

Google only has 200 of these prototype developer kits to give away and wants developers to be clear about their ideas and what they want to build with the platform. The company hopes to distribute the units by March 14th.

Check out the intro video about the project below.

Project Tango

Source, Images: TechCrunch

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