Google announces Project Tango experimental Android smartphone
Google has just revealed one undergoing experimental project that may lead to an amazing product in the future. The Advanced Technology and Projects group has been working on Project Tango for over a year and now it finally goes public. Described as "an exploration into giving mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion", this project already produced a small batch of 200 prototypes that will be distributed to developers by March 14.
The prototypes are 5-inch Android smartphones that pack efficient Kinect-like 3D sensors and a Myriad 1 vision processor by Movidius. While gaming and navigation are the first two areas where this technology will be useful, the ability to accurately track the location of a phone and its surroundings can also be used to provide improved assistance to the visually impaired.
The Advanced Technology and Projects group is one of the few parts of Motorola that Google did not sell to Lenovo and is currently involved in Project Ara as well. The head of Project Tango is Johnny Lee, who was involved in Microsoft's Kinect before leaving for Google in early 2011.
The APIs for the device are still work in progress at this time and developers can use C/C++, Java or the Unity game engine to write apps. The first batch of 200 units will be handed out to developers hand picked by Google based on their ideas submitted via the official Project Tango website.