Google has announced a project to build a smartphone with 3D vision that will be able to map the environment around it.
A prototype of the device has been built. The initiative of Google has been named Project Tango.
The current prototype, says Google, is a 5-inch phone containing customised hardware and software designed to track the full 3D motion of the device, while simultaneously creating a map of the environment. 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.
As per the information on its official web page, “The device runs Android and includes development APIs to provide position, orientation, and depth data to standard Android applications written in Java, C/C++, as well as the Unity Game Engine. These early prototypes, algorithms, and APIs are still in active development.
If successful, the new smartphone will be able to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion. For example, the unique smartphone may help visually-impaired to navigate unassisted in unfamiliar indoor places. It could also help in locating a product in exact shelf of a super-store.
Google is also seeking developers to work on the prototype kit. It has put our an ad, saying “We’re looking for professional developers with dreams of creating more than a touch-screen app.”
While the project is still in early stage, but there is no doubt it will eventually become a reality in future. Google has a reputation being innovative.