Prototype phone uses cameras, motion trackers, and software to render a 3D space.
Google introduced Project Tango today, a prototype Android phone that is built around 3D mapping. It uses a 4MP motion tracking camera, and two processors to produce a 3D render of an actual space, in real time as the phone is moved around it.
Though it's only in the early stages of testing, the site proposes some possible applications like capturing the measurements of your home before furniture shopping, giving more specific directions with spacial awareness of building interiors, or augmented reality games. It can provide the depth data to Java, C/C++, and Unity for easy development.
A brief video shows a look at how the phone captures and renders the 3D data
The company is careful to note that the prototype isn't a finished product, but it does plan to send 200 development kits out by March 14, 2014. To that end, it has invited interested developers to explain how they would make use of the prototype with a form on the project site. Some of the 200 kits have already been allocated for navigation, games, and algorithm development, but the rest will be distributed to developers who suggest inventive uses for the device.
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