Google has announced Project Tango, a 5-inch smartphone containing customized hardware and software designed to track the full 3D motion of the device while simultaneously creating a map of your environment.
These sensors allow the phone to 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.
The smartphone runs and Android and includes development APIs to provide position, orientation, and depth data to standard Android applications written in Java, C/C++, as well as the Unity Game Engine.
Google imagines the phone being used to capture the dimensions of your home simply by walking around with your device before you went furniture shopping. Or perhaps, directions to a location could continue beyond its street address, preventing you from ever being lost in a new building. It could help the visually-impaired navigate unfamiliar places. It might assist you in finding the exact shelf a product is one in a super-store.
Imagine playing hide-and-seek in your house with your favorite game character, or transforming the hallways into a tree-lined path. Imagine competing against a friend for control over territories in your home with your own miniature army, or hiding secret virtual treasures in physical places around the world?
Google is letting developers apply to be one of the first to get a prototype of the Project Tango smartphone.
Currently, we have 200 prototype dev kits. We have allocated some of these devices for projects in the areas of indoor navigation/mapping, single/multiplayer games that use physical space, and new algorithms for processing sensor data. We have also set aside units for applications we haven’t thought of yet. Tell us what you would build. Be creative. Be specific. Be bold.