A new prototype smartphone currently known as Project Tango will be able to learn the dimensions of rooms and spaces as you move it around with you. Using in-built depth sensors and a motion tracking camera, the phone can make a quarter of a million 3D measurements every second, simultaneously compiling the data into a 3D model of the world around it.
The project hails from Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects Group - remnants from their Motorola acquisition and is headed by Johnny Lee who joined in 2011 following work with Microsoft Kinect and Nintendo WII.
Whilst the project is still very much in the early stages there is clear vision to push the possibilities of mobile. In his introduction Lee states, 'We are physical beings that live in a 3D world. Yet, our mobile devices assume the 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’.
The driving desire from Google is that by being able to create a detailed portable 3D map, users will have the ability to call up directions to specified locations. Project Tango also proposes development in augmented reality games and environments, navigational tools for the visually impaired and real world in-store product location.
The Advanced Technology and Projects group who have also been involved with the development of modular smartphones are offering 200 developer kits as they search for partners to get on board and breath life into their ambitious new project.
To get an idea of what Project Tango can really do check out the video below.
images: © Carlos Luna