When Google sold Motorola to Lenovo, they kept the Advanced Technology and Projects group, which we know was working on Project Ara. Well, something else has been in the cooker as well: Google’s Project Tango. According to the leader of Project Tango, Johnny Lee, it is something they “have been working quietly on over the past year.”
Project Tango is a very unique smartphone that uses a motion tracking camera and depth sensor that can detect the 3D world that we live in. It can learn the dimensions of rooms and spaces, including your entire house. Can you say augmented reality? Imagine playing a game in your own home with other characters. It’s also perfect for directions beyond the street level, such as a mall or an unfamiliar and very large building.
According to Lee, the Project Tango team has been working with universities, research labs, and industrial partners in nine different countries enabling them to bring the last 10 years of research from robotics and computer vision to the phone.
Now this is at the prototype stage, which means we are a little ways off from consumer versions, but the good news is that Google is going to put 200 of these devices into developers hands in March to see what they can do with them.
I should also note the Johnny Lee seems to be perfect for this role. He helped Microsoft develop the Kinect and created virtual reality tools out of a Wii remote. He has been a Googler since 2011.
Damn, I wish I was a developer!!