Imagine pointing your phone anywhere you go and have it geometrically model everything it sees on screen instantly in 3D. This is Google’s “Project Tango” prototype mobile device in a nutshell. This device, much like Xbox’s Kinect peripheral, can draw three-dimensional objects on screen in real time, but in the palm of your hand. In this case, Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP), led by former Microsoft guru Johnny Chung Lee, is in the process of giving “Project Tango” and future mobile devices a human-like understanding of space and motion through advanced sensor fusion and computer vision, enabling new and enhanced types of user experiences including 3D scanning, indoor navigation and immersive gaming.
Project Tango, in its current state, is and Android OS mobile that utilizes identical hardware of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus with the exception of the “Movidius” processor called the “Myriad”. This beefy prototype co-processor chip is engineered by Johnny Lee and ATAP from the ground up to handle the real time Kinect-like 3D sensor with a much smaller power drawn.
Right now, Google is dispersing 200 units to 200 lucky developers in order to get the most out of the hardware before it hits the general public. If you are a developer and/or have a great idea to pitch to Google for this device, you can actually apply directly to Google here.