Google says it’s produced a smartphone with a 5-inch screen, movement sensors and custom Android-based software that can track 3D motion of the device. Data from the phone can then be used to produce a 3D map of the surrounding environment
Potential uses could be for indoor location-based services, virtual reality gaming or simply measuring internal spaces.
200 devices are currently available for professional developers, although some have already been allocated, with all expected to be distributed by mid-March.
In a statement on the project’s web site, Johnny Lee and the Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) ‘Project Tango’ team said “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.”
[Project Tango web site]