Google Smartmobe – Project Tango – Maps the World in 3D


Over the 2014, Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group has been working on a smartphone that maps the world in 3D. Project Tango contains a Myriad 1 vision processor for advanced motion and depth tracking. The phone’s sensors make over a quarter million 3D measurements every second, updating its position and orientation in real-time, this data is combined into a single 3D model of the surrounding space. Currently 200 prototype devices have been made available to developers who can create applications in navigation, gaming and algorithms which can process sensor data. The visually impaired are also targetted by Project Tango’s design to model the physical space around us in 3D.
ATAP became part of Google with its acquisition of Motorola and remained after the latter was divested to Lenovo. Available units of Project Tango are expected to have been distributed by March 14th, 2014. The 5″ prototype runs the Android OS with API’s for position, orientation, depth data. Applications for the device can be written in Java, C/C++ and the Unity Game Engine. As the ATAP team says – “The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.”

ATAP project lead, Jonny Lee gives a few of the possibilities that can be openned up by Project Tango

The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.

Our team has been working with universities, research labs, and industrial partners spanning nine countries around the world to harvest research from the last decade of work in robotics and computer vision, concentrating that technology into a unique mobile phone. Now, we’re ready to put early prototypes into the hands of developers that can imagine the possibilities and help pull those ideas into reality.

What if you never found yourself lost in a new building again? What if directions to a new location didn’t stop at the street address? Imagine playing hide-and-seek in your house with your favorite game character. Imagine competing against a friend for control over physical space with your own miniature army.

— Johnny Lee, and the ATAP Project Tango team