Google is about to once again redefine what a smartphone is with its newest 5 inch Android prototype, dubbed Project Tango. The concept smartphone has the ability to map the world around you in a 3D model thanks to an array of sensors, a few cameras and some serious vision processing. Project Tango will help users create indoor maps, which will help navigate not only its users, but future and current devices which operate in homes and workplaces. Google has 200 development kits it will be releasing to developers come mid-March.
Project Tango’s hardware is similar to that of Microsoft’s Kinect, just in a smaller package. The 5 inch prototype tracks motion in full 3D, making over a quarter million 3D measurements every second. Tango takes these measurements and creates a 3D model of the surrounding environment.
Project Tango is still in the early stages of development, intended for use by adventurous developers only. Google currently has 200 development kits available, and will be distributing the available units by March 14th, 2014. Google is allocating the units for developers who will be developing apps in the arena of indoor navigation and mapping, games which utilize physical space and new algorithms for processing data. Of course, Google will accept more creative uses of its Tango hardware as well, but you’re going to have to wow them.
If you’re interested in trying to get your hands on one of the 200 Project Tango dev units, head over to the Project Tango webpage and fill out the application form.