The annual Google I/O is right around the corner, and as usual Google has new technology to talk about. In a report released today, June 5, Google showed the world its new 7-inch tablet which will feature ground breaking new camera technology, but it will not be priced to appeal to the masses.
In recent years Google has used the I/O conference to release new versions of it's Nexus hardware, and while there is a chance of a new Nexus tablet being discussed, the Project Tango tablet that will likely steal the show.
The prototype of the 7-inch Project Tango tablet has a gorgeous 1080p display, and it will run on a stock version of Android 4.4 (KitKat), but the real story is about the technology under the hood. The tablet will be using NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra K1 processor which will be paired up with 4Gb of RAM. Users will find 128GB of internal storage (with no microSD card support), a USB 3.0 port, a micro-HDMI port, Bluetooth LE connectivity, as well as LTE support. That may sound like complete overkill for a tablet, but Google wanted to ensure that this tablet is powerful enough to power the new camera technology, and not hit any ceilings.
The Project Tango tablet will see the world around you by using two cameras, and a depth sensor. One camera is a 4-megapixel unit, which does not sound that great, but it is backed by a huge two-micron sensor that will offer fast speeds, and high light sensitivity. The second camera will focus solely on motion with a 170-degree wide-angle fish-eye lens.
Google wants this tablet, and eventually smartphones to be able to see the world as you do. The tablet will be able to understand both space and motion. The camera on this tablet will be able to map a room in your house, calculate distances between objects, and measure the objects themselves. While that may not sound very impressive, the real world applications of this technology could be huge. Imagine being able to map out a room in your house, and then being able to take the tablet to your local hardware store where you want to purchase new furniture or fixtures, you will not need to guess if that new couch will fit in your room because you will have all the measurements of your room right there with you.
The technology will offer both practical applications, and new ways to play games. Major software developers such as Unity and Epic are already creating new games for this technology. Pretty soon you will be able to turn your whole home into a dungeon filled with monsters. You will no longer have to sit down to play the game, because the camera will map the dungeon to your home, essentially the game will allow you to walk around your home, and will turn the tablet into a window to another world. The experience will fully immerse users into a new world, and will offer gaming unlike anything ever seen before.
This new technology sounds great, but it comes at a steep price. Google has announced that the Project Tango tablet will cost a whopping $1,024 when it is put up for pre-order next month. If you want one of these tablets you also have be invited to buy one (just like Google Glass).
There is no doubt that this is a glimpse of the future though, and eventually the technology used in this tablet will trickle down into the products we use every single day. Google already has a prototype phone that uses the same camera technology too, but no release date has been set for the phone.
There will be more information about Project Tango at Google's annual I/O conference which will be held later on this June.