Google’s ATAP team functions under the lead of Regina Dugan, who has referred to her Advanced Technology and Projects team as “a small band of pirates trying to do cool shit,” – took to the stage to talk and show off a few slightly more ambitious things at Google I/O and gave us some updates on Project Tango.
Project Tango is the overarching name for smartphones and tablets that are equipped with incredible cameras and sensors that allow them to see and map the world around them in 3D. Google will be partnering with LG to build a consumer model of the tablet that will go on sale next year.
The announcement came after a handful of demos in which the team showed off the potential Project Tango really has. Johnny Lee, program lead with the team said “Imagine if the directions to your destination didn’t stop at the front door, but to tell you exactly where to go and what to do,” and that “The compute is here. The compute is genuinely here to do amazing things with our devices. What’s missing is the hardware and the software.”
Tango can not only map and recreate your surroundings, but it can also tell where you are within those surroundings. Lee showed off demonstrations of Project Tango mapping his house, and played a virtual reality game that required him to squat with his tablet in order to chat with a very short wizard and more.
Google and the ATAP team have continued to state that the whole story of Project Tango is to show off the possibilities that arise when you’ve mapped the world around you, and what can happen when you’re mapping it in real time.
Project Tango is, for the moment at least, still just a project. There’s no detail on timing, specs, price, or details about the upcoming LG-built tablet at this stage, but ATAP’s model is to both invent and ship, so Project Tango will be real … soon enough.
Are you excited about Project Tango? Got any ideas about uses for the technology? Tell us in the comments.