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Google Inc is developing a new 7-inch tablet that can capture 3-D images, and plans to produce about 4,000 of these prototypes beginning next month, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people briefed on the company's plans. |
The device, which is part of Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group 'Project Tango,' will have two back cameras, infrared depth sensors and advanced software that can capture precise three-dimensional images of objects, according to the Journal.
Google's Project Tango is a platform for Android phones and tablets designed to track the full 3-dimensional motion of the device as you hold it, while simultaneously creating a map of the environment around it.
The Project's flagship product, a prototype smartphone, released in February has similar sensors and is designed to create a three-dimensional map of its user's surroundings, the Journal said.
Google and other traditionally non-hardware companies such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) have made inroads into mobile devices as consumers increasingly access the Web on the go.
Google was not immediately available for comment outside regular business hours.
What is Google Project Tango?
Google Project Tango is a smartphone and tablet project by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP), formerly a division of Motorola.
A prototype is an Android smartphone-like device which tracks the 3D motion of the device, and creates a 3D model of the environment around it. ATAP has 200 prototype development kits which will be distributed to developers by mid-March 2014.
The company plans to produce about 4,000 prototype tablets in June, then furnish them to developers. The device would come with a 7-inch screen, two back cameras and infrared depth sensors.
Development collaborators span nine countries and include Bosch, Bsquare, CompalComm, ETH Zurich, Flyby, George Washington University, MMSolutions, Movidus, University of Minnesota MARS Lab,JPL, Ologic, OmniVision, Open Source Robotics Foundation, Parascosm, and Sunny Optical Technology.
Google's Project Tango is a smartphone with sensors to map the world around you
Google's just announced Project Tango, a 5-inch Android smartphone prototype equipped with Kinect-like 3D sensors and other components to track motion and map your surroundings. Unlike other 3D-sensing devices including Kinect, Project Tango includes the Myriad 1 vision processor from Movidius, which allows for advanced motion and depth tracking without sucking a ton of power. Available to a limited group of developers today, the handset could enable enhanced indoor navigation and immersive gaming, among other things.
Google's Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group is the brains behind Tango, and ATAP head Johnny Lee (formerly of the Microsoft Kinect team) said that the prototype "strives to give mobile devices a human-like understanding of space and motion ... enabling new and enhanced types of user experiences." Gaming and navigation applications are two prime examples, but overall the goal seems to be harnessing precise location and mapping information to enhance your mobile experience. Google also mentions the possibility of navigation assistance for the visually impaired, and it's not a leap to guess that Mountain View could integrate ads with this sophisticated mapping technology as well.ATAP, one important holdover of Google's acquisition (and subsequent selling off) of Motorola, hadn't revealed any hardware prior to today's announcement, so we'll be following this project with interest. Head past the break for a video demo of Project Tango.