In 2014, we heard of Google's Project Tango prototype, said to allow smartphones and tablets to record and designate a 3D view of its surrounding world using fancy internal technology. The tablet prototype was said to house an Nvidia Tegra K1 processor, and only interested developers could access it via invite-only. A year later, things have been tweaked and polished, and Google is officially launching the product for anyone interested, for half the price, available in the Google Store.
Kinda strange how the device suddenly popped up for sale on the Google Store site Thursday, at a price of $512, then disappeared just as fast. Not sure why or how this happened. As of today, it looks like everything's a go. Maybe the launch was a bit ahead of schedule considering Google's I/O Conference hadn't quite begun.
The Project Tango tablet features a 7-inch display, and works by sensing the environment around the user using sensors, cameras, and processors measuring depth, motion and other environmental factors. The key feature is its Kinect-like camera used for tracking and mapping 3D landscapes. Other cameras include a 4MP with 2.0-micron pixels, and a 170-degree angle camera. Together, these features have been designed to “see if mobile devices can develop human-like understanding of the environment in which they're found” (Cnet).
Now that it's no longer a proof-of-concept, Google's new price of $512 (half of what it was being offered for during the invite-only launch) is still aimed at developers only. Google wrote, “These tablets are designed to enable software professionals to develop for the platform”. In fact, hundreds will be needed to work on the software if Google wants to get a build-of up content. Hopefully we will be hearing more details of Project Tango during Google's I/O Conference.
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