Project Tango – Google’s leap into 3D sensing technology

Google recently announced ‘Project Tango‘, their latest project which is a smartphone that uses 3D sensors, sort of like the Xbox Kinect, but a far advanced version owing to the use of the Myriad 1 vision processor from Movidius. Now, what is interesting is that Project Tango is led by the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) team at Google. The ATAP team is one of the hold-backs by Google from the recent Motorola sale, and Project Tango, is one of their first roll-outs under the Google banner.

What does Project Tango do? Well, it basically equips the smartphone with a human-like space awareness, where it can judge the space around it and create visual map of a room using  3D scanning.  In the words of ATAP head Johnny Lee, “Project Tango strives to give mobile devices a human-like understanding of space and motion through advanced sensor fusion and computer vision, enabling new and enhanced types of user experiences – including 3D scanning, indoor navigation and immersive gaming.” They have also mentioned application of the technology for assisting the visually impaired.

It isn’t very hard to decipher that this technology could have a lot of applications for advertising as well. But that comes later. As of now, Google is looking to hand-pick 200 developers who’ll be given the prototype and dev-kits. These developers are given a challenge to come up with applications for this technology. As Google puts it in the announcement “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?”

Quite an imaginative thought. We find ourselves thinking about the possibilities that this technology holds. Do you have any thoughts? Where do you think this technology could be used? Just put it down in the comments.

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