As a project out of Google’s Advanced Technologies and Projects division, Project Tango is one of those things that sounds more at home in a science fiction movie. Providing people the capability to map rooms in 3D from a mobile device is not easily done, or even practical to most consumers. However, Project Tango has announced the introduction of a developer kit for those who want to work with the unusual environment sensors.
Project Tango itself is meant to allow gadgets to experience the world as we do, in all three dimensions. To do this, the developer kit tablet is equipped with a 4MP 2micron-pixel (similar to the HTC ultrapixel camera) camera for light sensitivity, a 120-degree fish eye lens camera of unknown specifications, and a depth sensor. All three sensors are placed on the back at a 13-degree angle to make it more comfortable to be used with an outstretched arm.
Inside the 7-inch tablet is a set of specifications that may seem like overkill for a developer kit. Powered by an NIVIDA Tegra K1 mobile processor, it also has 4GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. All of this because Google believes that the upper end of its computing limit should be difficult to reach.
Where all this hardware leads is up to the developers who buy into the program. Ideally it would create applications for interior designers or decorators who would be able to scan a room and then manipulate it immediately from a tablet. It could also turn into another medium for gaming, by virtually turning the room into a dungeon or spaceship using augmented reality.
The tablet development kit will be available later this year for US$1024. This offer is only for developers, and the request form makes it very clear that private individuals should not apply for it.
[Source: Google ATAP]