Google '3D Phone' Can Map The World Around It
Google has released a prototype smartphone that can create 3D maps of a user's surroundings.
The customised hardware and software allows the device's sensors to make more than 250,000 3D measurements every second.
It updates its position and orientation in real-time, using the data to create a single 3D model of the space around the phone user.
The company believes the technology could be used in various ways, including making it easier for people to navigate unfamiliar buildings, helping blind people to move around, and for immersive indoor gaming.
Professional developers have been asked to submit ideas on the kind of apps they would make using the technology. Google has 200 prototypes to distribute by mid-March.
The company said: "We are physical beings that live in a 3D world. Yet our mobile devices assume that physical world ends at the boundaries of the screen.
"The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion."
The Movidius Myriad 1 vision processor platform is being used for Project Tango.
Until recently, embedding these kinds of sensors into phones was expensive and power-intensive.
However, the latest generation of vision processors uses less power, making this current project feasible.
The five-inch phone runs the Android operating system. The company stressed that the phones are prototypes and are not the final shipping product.
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