TECHNOLOGY_ Google is unstoppable. Now the new challenge is to create a mobile phone which uses movement and depth sensors to build a 3D model of the space around it. Project Tango is a focused exploration of what might be possible in a mobile platform.
What if you could capture the dimensions of your home simply by walking around with your phone before you went furniture shopping? What if directions to a new location didn’t stop at the street address? What if you never again found yourself lost in a new building? What if the visually-impaired could navigate unassisted in unfamiliar indoor places? What if you could search for a product and see where the exact shelf is located in a super-store? With Project Tango by Google soon it will be possible.
Here below the presentation of Project Tango by Johnny Lee and the ATAP-Project Tango Team:
We can build it faster together.
As we walk through our daily lives, we use visual cues to navigate and understand the world around us. We observe the size and shape of objects and rooms, and we learn their position and layout almost effortlessly over time. This awareness of space and motion is fundamental to the way we interact with our environment and each other. We are physical beings that live in a 3D world. Yet, our mobile devices assume that physical world ends at the boundaries of the screen.
The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.
Over the past year, our team has been working with universities, research labs, and industrial partners spanning nine countries around the world to harvest research from the last decade of work in robotics and computer vision, concentrating that technology into a unique mobile phone. Now, we’re ready to put early prototypes into the hands of developers that can imagine the possibilities and help bring those ideas into reality.
We hope you will take this journey with us. We believe it will be one worth traveling.
WHAT IS IT?
The current prototype is a 5” phone containing customized hardware and software designed to track the full 3D motion of the device, while simultaneously creating a map of the environment. These sensors allow the phone to make over a quarter million 3D measurements every second, updating its position and orientation in real-time, combining that data into a single 3D model of the space around you.
It runs Android and includes development APIs to provide position, orientation, and depth data to standard Android applications written in Java, C/C++, as well as the Unity Game Engine. These early prototypes, algorithms, and APIs are still in active development. So, these experimental devices are intended only for the adventurous and are not a final shipping product.
WHAT COULD WE DO WITH IT?
Imagine playing hide-and-seek in your house with your favorite game character, or transforming the hallways into a tree-lined path. Imagine competing against a friend for control over territories in your home with your own miniature army, or hiding secret virtual treasures in physical places around the world?
HOW DO YOU GET ONE?
They’re looking for professional developers with dreams of creating more than a touch-screen app. These devices were built with the unique ability to sense 3D motion and geometry. Currently, they have 200 prototype dev kits. They have allocated some of these devices for projects in the areas of indoor navigation/mapping, single/multiplayer games that use physical space, and new algorithms for processing sensor data. They have also set aside units for applications they haven’t thought of yet.
"Tell us what you would build. Be creative. Be specific. Be bold."
Google expect to distribute all of their available units by March 14th, 2014.
© Google g.co/ProjectTango