Google Launches 'Project Tango' 3D-Mapping Smartphone

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Google today launched Project Tango, an experimental smartphone and developer kit that incorporates 3D sensors able to map indoor and outdoor environments. Designed as a 5-inch phone containing custom hardware and software, the first Project Tango prototype makes more than a quarter million 3D measurements each second, tracking three-dimensional motion to create a visual 3D map of the space around itself.

    Google describes Project Tango primarily as a mapping tool, automatically capturing the world around each user to provide directions, dimensions, and environmental maps.

    The company also pictures Project Tango as the first step towards fully immersive augmented reality games that merge gameplay with real world locations.
    According to TechCrunch, Project Tango utilizes a vision processor called the Myriad 1, from Movidius, which is incredibly power efficient compared to other 3D-sensing chips on the market. The power necessary for 3D chips to function has thus far been one of the major issues preventing the technology from being incorporated into a smartphone, but because it functions like a co-processor much like Apple's own M7 motion co-processor, it is able to draw less power.

    Project Tango's three-dimensional mapping capabilities are similar to technology developed by PrimeSense, a company that Apple acquired last year. PrimeSense developed the technology used in Microsoft's original Kinect and went on to create motion-sensing mobile chips capable of scanning an environment in full 3D. PrimeSense imagined the technology could be used for interactive gaming, indoor mapping, and more, much like Project Tango.

    It isn't clear how Apple plans to use PrimeSense's technology in future devices or whether it has plans to release a smartphone that supports a 3D chip, but Project Tango demonstrates some of the potential capabilities of 3D sensing built into mobile devices that Apple could replicate should it choose to go in that direction. Apple has expressed interest in 3D indoor mapping in the past, having acquired indoor mapping company WiFiSlam in early 2013.

    Google is recruiting professional developers to create apps for Project Tango and wants work to begin as soon as March. The company is distributing 200 prototype dev kits, inviting developers to describe what they would build using the technology. Google plans to give out prototype kits for developers interested in navigation/mapping, single/multiplayer games that use physical space, and new algorithms that use processing sensor data.

    Article Link: Google Launches 'Project Tango' 3D-Mapping Smartphone
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2011
    1 Infinite Loop
    "What if Google knew even more about you than they already do?"
  3. macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2011
    Those guys at google.... They must have a blast dreaming up this stuff even if it never makes it to market. This sounds cool & useful.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2010
  5. macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2010
    macrumors apparently
  6. macrumors 65816

    Apr 24, 2010
    I want to be a Project Tango Explorer for $1500 and help Google map private interior spaces for the betterment of humanity, it's the least I can do to help this multi-billion dollar corporation.

    But seriously, "it takes two to tango" meaning Google + some unwitting jerk like me. :)
  7. macrumors 601


    Dec 8, 2011
    East Central Florida
  8. macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    Make the software 100x faster and more accurate and you have a good artificial eye software there. Then you just need another set of hardware to interpret all these signals and vision and act on it.

    The eyeball of a T-600 or T-800 right there.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2010
    One of those ideas that sounds cool and creepy at the same time.
  10. macrumors 6502


    Jan 15, 2013
    That sounds cooler than a polar bear's toenails. I would love to play around with one of those kits.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2011
    They already know more then you think

    If I can ask my phone where I lost my keys, and it tells me where they are because of this technology, then that is awesome.

    The only people that should be afraid of Google (and the NSA) information gathering are terrorists and pedophiles, so if you don't count yourself part of either or those groups there is nothing to worry about.

    But honestly there must be a lot of pedophiles and terrorists out there the way people always complain about this stuff.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Feb 29, 2008
    This is what Matterport already does

    They use a "Kinect-like" device to 3D-fy your building, house, etc, primarily for remodeling purposes but could easily be used for an FPS (my personal dream :) ).
  13. macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2014
  14. macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2013
    Apple walled garden
    very exciting project, but if it gets out in the wild, how would the battery do with all those sensors?
  15. macrumors regular

    May 18, 2012
    Beat me to it!!

    Was gonna mention the upcoming lawsuit between Google and Bruce Wayne...
  16. macrumors 65816

    Apr 24, 2010
    Well, that's really cute and everything, but I think there are some other groups of people who should be worried about being spied on and subsequently blackmailed, namely senators, congressmen, the president, CEOs of fortune 500 companies, foreign heads of state, etc.

    But yes we agree, the NSA doesn't care about you and your business or any of the other nobodies walking around the planet, no offense. :)
  17. macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2013
  18. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 21, 2001
  19. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2011
    What exactly does this have to do with MacRumors?
  20. macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2013
    Exactly - it must be a blast working there!
  21. macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2008
    It's content that will generate social shares which will bring people to the site to see advertisements and make them money. It's all about money now. Doesn't have to be Mac related anymore it seems.
  22. macrumors 68000


    Jun 22, 2003
    It's going to be like Clippy from Microsoft. "Looks like you're going to the bathroom." [Shows you a Charmin Ad]
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012

    This idea would be really cool for a dungeon crawler FPS game. wandering around your home, school, etc. with an iPad in front of you. in the iPad screen would be the real landscape, with augmentation, plus monsters. You tap on the screen to shoot the monsters. I can imagine hoards of teenagers running around malls blasting up and down the stairs, shooting imaginary monsters and each other. Peals of laughter, running around, tripping over kiosks, planters, and baby carriages. It would be great.

    Of course it would also be one more reason for old fa**s like me to not go to the mall any more too.
  24. macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    Nothing. MacRumors is a brand only. All kinds of rumours will be put up here. I asked the staff here what the? And their response was "that's how it is, don't like it, feel free to go to other websites and leave MacRumors."

    A tolerate it or get lost attitude they had.
  25. macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2013

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