I want you to take a moment with me to imagine the entire world at your fingertips.  Think of maps of buildings that present their floorplans to you in immersive first person 3D experiences rather than the traditional 2D top-down approach that is currently so common.  Picture yourself with the ability to turn any location you are at into a virtual or augmented reality playground where any kind of game is possible.  It sounds like something straight out of  science fiction doesn’t it?  It even seems like something that we are a multitude of years from and yet yesterday Google announced to the public an early form of this very technology under the name of Project Tango.

Project Tango comes in the form of a relatively simple looking 5″ phone, but it is anything but ordinary.  On the back of the device there are two cameras along with an external sensor.  The topmost camera is a 4MP shooter while the bottom camera is used for motion tracking.  The exposed sensor is used to calculate depth.  On the inside of the device there is a pair of special co-processors for processing the visual information the aforementioned cameras and sensor present along with a few other sensors that are not detailed.  Combine this hardware with the software made to compile all of this information and you get a device that is capable of making over a quarter million 3D measurements about its position and orientation per second thus creating a 3D image of the space around it in real-time.  Project Tango is being developed currently by Google ATAP(Advanced Technology and Projects), which was moved into Google from Motorola earlier this week, alongside various companies and institutions and has been silently for the past year..

From a developer standpoint, these devices are available in a very small quantity of 200 devices right now.  Anybody lucky enough to get their hands on them will have access to the hardware capabilities via APIs for normal Android apps coded in Java, C, or C++ along with Android games that use the Unity Game Engine.  As mentioned previously though, there are only 200 of these devices available currently and they are expected to all be sent to their respective developers by March 14, 2014.  To sign up you must be signing up with an incorporated entity or institution and provide an address for said company or institution.

To get more information about Project Tango or sign up to try and get the device to develop on click here.

Source | Project Tango

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Nathan Buth

Currently I am enrolled as a student at Full Sail University pursuing a Bachelors of Science degree in Mobile Development.I originally was brought deeper into the tech world after getting an OG Droid and obsessively changing the custom ROM and theme it was running on at minimum a weekly basis.In 2012 I luckily managed to get a ticket to I/O and became a Glass Explorer.Since then I have worked on a startup as a mobile programmer, attended Glass Foundry, and received Glass.My primary device is a GS3 which I use alongside a Nexus 4, a Nexus 7, a Pebble, and Glass.