Google to unveil Tango tablet computer with 3D advance vision capabilities

23 May 2014

Google is getting set to unveil a new cutting-edge 7-inch tablet computer with 3D-sensing capabilities similar to the Project Tango smartphone revealed in February.

In February, Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) skunkworks revealed Project Tango, an Android-based 5-inch phone that comes with advanced 3D sensors that can build a visual map of the environment around it using 3D scanning.

At the heart of the breakthrough technology was a new chip architecture developed by Irish company Movidius that enables a range of devices to intelligently understand and contextualise their surroundings.

Future Human

According to The Wall Street Journal, Google plans to produce 4,000 Project Tango tablet computers next month with a 7-inch screen, two back cameras, infrared depth sensors and software that can precisely capture 3D images of objects.

Google has already developed a prototype 5-inch Android phone containing customised hardware and software designed to track the full three-dimensional motion of the device and create a map of the environment.

The sensors on the device can make more than 250,000 3D measurements per second to create a single 3D model of the space surrounding the smartphone.

The internet giant has been collaborating with universities, research labs and industrial partners, such as Movidius, in nine countries around the world.

“Project Tango strives to give 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,” Johnny Lee, technical program lead, Advanced Technology and Projects at Google, said in February when Project Tango was revealed.

“Movidius has provided a key component towards enabling access to these features in a small mobile platform with a chip designed with visual sensing and battery life in mind. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Movidius as these new applications evolve and new device designs come to market.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years