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Lenovo Wants to Bring Google’s Project Tango To Life

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Smartphones with 3D-tracking and modelling could be on their way soon

Lenovo wants to build smartphones equipped with Google’s Project Tango, which allows a device to use 3D mapping technologies to place itself in the real world, for release later this year.

The ambitious plan will see a smartphone costing less than $500 (£343), powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and featuring a screen size smaller than 6.5 inches launching this summer.

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project tangoLenovo, which has close ties with Google in the mobile space since its purchase of Motorola Mobility back in 2014, says it is working closely with both Google and Qualcomm to optimise the software and hardware to ensure consumers get the most out of the platform.

In addition, Lenovo is also inviting developers to help grow the Project Tango app ecosystem with a new app incubator programme. Open to all developers, Lenovo is offering the chance to win funding and have their app preloaded on Lenovo’s upcoming smartphone.

This will hopefully include some UK developers following the release of a UK-specific development kit for Project Tango last August.

Originally announced in February 2014, Project Tango is part of Google’s efforts to help make mobile devices more intelligent than ever.

It comes with a 4MP camera working with a motion-tracking camera and 3D depth sensing to ‘see’ in three dimensions, as well as an accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, GPS, ambient light sensor and a compass.

This all combines to allow the device to create 3D scans of the world around it in real-time, as sensors 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 it.

Google sees the potential use cases of Project Tango including the likes of augmented reality and virtual applications, with examples such as the hyper-accurate mapping out of dimensions or building indoor mapping functionality.

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