Google’s Project Tango plans to model it in real-time 3D with a smartphone. Similar to its Project Ara to build a modular smartphone, Google’s Project Tango originated in the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group. This group which was earlier a part of Motorola Mobility, was bought by Google and then sold the Motorola division, though Google kept ATAP.
Ara expects to deconstruct a smartphone, by developing a phone which can be customized with functional modules by the users. While, Tango, on the other hand, plans to deconstruct reality, taking a quarter million 3D measurements each second to develop a real-time 3D model that illustrates the physical depth of its surroundings. Some of the specifications of Tango are:
- A rear-facing four megapixel RGB/infrared camera.
- A 180-degree field-of-view fisheye rear-facing camera.
- A 120-degree field-of-view front facing camera.
- A 320 x 180 depth sensor.
- A vision processor with one teraflop of computer power.
It is expected that if successful, Tango-capable or similar mobile devices could lead to new heights of gestural control, 3D modeling for 3D printing, photography, immersive gaming and educational experiences, facial recognition, support for sight-impaired users, etc.
Along with the above mentioned specifications, the Tango prototype development kit includes:
- A Snapdragon 800 quad core CPU running up to 2.3 ghz per core.
- 2GB of memory.
- An expandable 64GB of internal storage.
- And a nine axis accelerometer/gyroscope/compass.
- A Mini-USB.
- A Micro-USB .
- USB 3.0.
- An infrared projector with a series of infrared LEDs which when turned on, projects a grid of dots that generate a depth map like Microsoft’s Kinect.
Besides, the teardown point outs that this prototype would be simple to repair due to the relative simplicity of its overall construction.
Google announced that it expects to start selling the Ara endoskeleton for about $50. So it can be estimated that it will not be long for an Ara phone to become a Tango phone via appropriate modules.
Arka Roy (www.sketchup-ur-space.com)