Outside of the cinema, applications of three-dimensional imagery are generally few and far between, but the technology is about to go mobile. According to The Wall Street Journal, the first Google tablet with Project Tango, the search giant’s ambitious 3-D imaging project, will finally go into production next month.

What Is Project Tango?

First demonstrated at an event in February, Project Tango is the result of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group, and has since generated a lot of buzz in the tech community. The project is expected to give a smartphone or tablet the ability to map and analyze realistic 3-D data from the device’s surroundings, essentially modeling objects in the user’s vicinity.

This will be done on the new tablet through the use of two rear-facing cameras, infrared depth sensors, and advanced imaging software. The sensors will be able to absorb and analyze 250 million 3-D measurements every second to build a 3-D model of the device’s surroundings. But this is nothing compared to its potential uses.

Using Project Tango

Based on Google’s comments, as well as the demonstration back in February, the concept has the potential to change the way we conduct numerous daily activities, according to CNET. One example of its use is to capture the dimensions of a room before a family goes furniture shopping, allowing them to make informed decisions about purchases. It may even help the visually impaired to move more freely both inside and outside by scanning the area and offering vocal commands about where to turn. Augmented reality gaming, simulating a game right in front of a user, could also see be improved.

Though these uses have all been speculative, the product has 4,000 prototypes slated for production starting next month that should give way to more concrete applications in the future.

A Google tablet with Project Tango, however, isn’t our only recent glimpse of advanced computer vision technology. With its recent acquisition of Oculus VR, Facebook also looks to expand beyond gaming and into other fields, from communications to education. Google tablets may be the first to see this technology, but they definitely won’t be the last.

What other uses can you see for Project Tango? Will it be received well?

Image courtesy of Flickr


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