Google’s Project Tango: Giving mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion

Google, a company known for experimentation and innovation, has introduced another project to take us into the future–Project Tango.

Project Tango is a highly customized┬ácombination of an Android phone and software stack. The system is capable of tracking the full motion of the device and simultaneously creating a full map of it’s 3D environment.

This is an exciting development in mobile devices and it shows us just how far we have come and gives us a glimpse of where we are headed. It will probably be some time before this technology gets in to the hands of the general consumer, but it is thrilling to see what the possibilities are.

The Project Tango team envisions this technology to be applied in areas such as:

  • Furniture shopping by mapping your house
  • Getting and viewing directions for the inside of a building
  • Allowing the visually impaired to navigate unfamiliar areas unassisted
  • Seeing the exact location, on the shelf, of a item you are looking for in a store
  • Augmented reality games

The phone is capable of taking and recording over 250,000 measurements per second and combining the data in to a single 3D model of the space around it. This data is made available with a developer API that provides position, orientation, and depth data. These APIs are not finalized, but they are available in this prototype device.

Google says it currently has about 200 development kits available and interested developers can submit their proposal for one of these devices. Their suggestion for proposals is to be bold and be specific. The development kits should go out by March 14th, 2014.

Project Tango is the result of a collaboration between universities, research labs, and industrial partners spanning nine countries.

To get more information visit Google’s Project Tango page.