Smartphone Project Tango


The Google development team does not go around and is trying hard to improve and simplify the lives of all segments of the population, including children, adults, and people with disabilities. As you know, augmented reality glasses Google Glass can already be bought by anyone, and this development has already been used in many industries, as well as the gadget has found application in law enforcement. Oddly enough, users still find the most diverse ways to use for “smart” glasses.

But the company is not going to stop there, and the other day it became known about the development of a new technology, which was called Project Tango. Project Tango is being developed by Advanced Technology and Projects (abbreviated as ATAP). The essence of the new project is to create a completely new technology for mobile phones, which could see and analyze the environment based on the physical position of the gadget in space.


New Project Tango Technology

Smartphone Project Tango

“The goal of the new project is for mobile devices to learn to detect movements and see the environment as people see it,” project manager Johnny Lee briefly explains the essence of developing the new technology.


The official project page already has a brief description of the prototype device and technology in general, as well as a video that shows the development process, the appearance and structure of the Project Tango smartphone.

The video also shows the process of testing the device in the laboratory and the possibility of its use in the future. So, the new technology can become an indispensable assistant for visually impaired people, can become an assistant to designers, find application in construction, and also become a good tool when creating games with the effect of augmented reality. You can find a huge number of ways to apply this technology in life, and although the video shows only a prototype, its capabilities are already making a good impression.

“What if you could measure the size of your apartment before buying furniture, just strolling through the rooms, holding a telephone? What if you could find a way out of a large unfamiliar building without any help? What if you could quickly find the right product among the many shelves of the supermarket? The Tango project is a technology that can bring it all to reality. – This describes the capabilities of the project on the official page.

As you can see from the video, at the moment the prototype of the new device is a 5-inch smartphone, which is equipped with a 4 megapixel camera and several sensors that capture depth and external movements. The smartphone runs on the Android operating system with special software that is able to create an environment map based on the numerous indicators of sensors that change as the device changes its position in the environment. According to the developers, the sensors take up to 250,000 measurements in one second. The high processing speed of such a quantity of driving information is provided by the Movidius processor – Myriad 1. This processor is designed specifically for such purposes, and is the most productive and economical solution for working in this area.

At the moment, about 200 prototypes have been manufactured, which will soon fall into the hands of other developers. Distribution of prototypes will begin on March 14, and in order to get a copy, you just need to leave a request on the project website, describing your opinion about the technology and suggesting your ideas for using the project in the areas of navigation and game development.

But, according to the creators, not all prototypes are the same – if some are optimized for building a room map, then others are for calculating the information coming from the sensors.

To all this, it should be added that as many as 16 companies, including OmniVision and Bosh, are helping develop the technology.

Returning to the question of what Project Tango technology can do and what additional functions it can acquire over time, several assumptions can be made.

Project Tango, as mentioned just above, can be a great technology that can help visually impaired people. By the way, in the official video one could see an employee with a guide dog, so it is quite possible that the developers are already trying to test the technology, identifying its strengths and weaknesses in this area.

Also, a new project can be a useful addition to GPS navigators, or maybe a separate, more functional navigation system.

If you fancy a little imagination, you can assume that Tango will be able to find things lost indoors. Agree, it would be great if the smartphone could find objects by remembering their shape and searching them in the room. So, for example, one could spend less time and effort searching for a key, or, say, a TV remote control.

Finally, Project Tango can greatly facilitate the process of creating games and applications. The video showed fragments where developers used technology to control the cursor and move around the virtual world. It is likely that this technology will help to take a new step in the field of mobile entertainment, adding the ability to be in virtual reality to anyone.

But be that as it may, it is too early to talk about it. Let's see what new ideas and news technology will bring, after the distribution of the prototype Project Tango in the hands of other developers.

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