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February 21, 2014

Project Tango: Google’s new mobile mapping technology

Google Advanced Technology and Projects group has introduced its latest technology that will soon enable a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet to scan and map your 3D world – the Project Tango.

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What is it?

In essence, Project Tango is a 5-inch phone with customized hardware and software. It is equipped with a set of sensors so it can track its full 3D motion and map its environment at the same time.

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“These sensors allow the phone to make over a quarter million 3D measurements every second, updating it’s position and orientation in real-time, combining that data into a single 3D model of the space around you.”

What can you do with it?

Project Tango can make it easier to map locations like homes and buildings where other mapping technologies can’t. Those who are visually-impaired can also take advantage of the technology so they can navigate unassisted in unfamiliar indoor places. Objects can also be scanned, tagged, and mapped so you can easily locate it.

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It can also enhance future gaming by better combining virtual and real environments. Best of all, Tango runs Android (although not a part of it yet) and supports apps written in Java, C/C++, and Unity Game Engine which will pave way for more interesting apps in the future.

Project Tango is currently for developers, and Google ATAP only has limited supply of 200 prototype dev kits which they are planning to distribute by mid-March. But if you’re a developer and have a great idea for Project Tango, you can try your luck by signing up to the project by hitting the source link below.

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