3D scanning technology allows mobile devices to better understand the world around them, and should see release this year
Google could be about to make your smartphone smarter than ever with the news that one of its most innovative technology projects is hitting the big time.
The search giant has confirmed that Project Tango has moved out of the experimental Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group lab and into its mainstream business.
The technology will allow mobile devices to create 3D scans of the world around them 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 you.
These models can then be used for augmented reality and virtual applications, such as mapping out dimensions or giving directions around a new building.
“After two fast-paced years in ATAP, and many technical successes, the Tango team is transitioning from ATAP to a new home within Google,” the Project Tango team posted on Google+.
“We’re excited about the continued commitment to developing the technology for our users — we wish our fellow pirates fair winds and following seas.
ATAP has long been regarded as one of the key proving grounds for Google’s upcoming mobile technology, having also helped with the development of Project Ara, the company’s modular smarpthone.
Project Tango was first announced in February 2014, with a stated aim of giving mobile devices, “a human-scale understanding of space and motion.”
“As we walk through our daily lives, we use visual cues to navigate and understand the world around us,” said Johnny Lee and the ATAP-Project Tango Team.
“We observe the size and shape of objects and rooms, and we learn their position and layout almost effortlessly over time. This awareness of space and motion is fundamental to the way we interact with our environment and each other. We are physical beings that live in a 3D world. Yet, our mobile devices assume that physical world ends at the boundaries of the screen.”
Google has already produced its own a 5-inch reference smartphone prototype equipped with several IR depth cameras, and a 7-inch tablet prototype to be used by the developer community.
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