The future is awesome.
So says the tagline for Google’s latest project, Tango.
And, well, it’s a pretty accurate statement based on what this new project entails.
“Our current prototype is a five-inch phone containing customized hardware and software designed to track the full 3D motion of the device, while simultaneously creating a map of the environment,” project lead Johnny Lee wrote on the project’s site. “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.”
The idea behind the project is that while humans see the world and live in a 3D environment that ends when it comes to our electronic devices. However, what if we could record our environments in a 3D capacity?
Sounds pretty cool, right?
Well, based on what Google’s promoting it has the potential to be very cool.
Consider this passage from the site that explains the potential uses for Tango:
“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?
“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?”
The project is still in the development stage and Google is looking for developers to expand the use of the device. Specifically, partners able to “push the technology forward and build great user experiences” are being sought.
There are, right now, 200 prototype developer kits available. Some have already been distributed for specific programs but some have been set aside for those developers who meet Google’s criteria.
The goal is to have the prototypes distributed by mid-March.