project tango developers kit
June 6, 2014

Google Opens Up Project Tango Tablet To Developers

Peter Suciu for - Your Universe Online

Google continues to dance the tango, and this week opened its latest project to developers. Announced back in February, Project Tango, an Android-based mobile phone and developer kit that includes advanced 3D sensors, is ready to shake things up in tablet form.

The Project Tango Tablet Developer's Kit is now housed in an Nvidia Tegra K1-powered tablet, which features 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a motion tracking camera, integrated depth sensing, Wi-Fi, BTLE, and 4G LTE.

On Thursday Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) announced: "Today, developers excited about Project Tango can start building using the Project Tango Tablet Development Kit. Created in close collaboration with NVIDIA, the development kit includes the new Tegra K1 mobile processor to create a platform designed for computer vision and 3D sensing. You can use the Project Tango Tablet Development Kit to make applications that track full 3-dimensional motion and capture surfaces in the environment."

This tablet is not a prototype of a final product that Google would bring to market, but rather it has been specifically designed for developers who may be looking to dive into the mobile 3D-sensing market. It will go on sale in limited quantities to developers later this year for $1,024.

Those attending Google I/O, the company's annual developer confab, which will take place later this month in San Francisco, will have the first shot at signing up to purchase the devices.

"Our team has been working with universities, research labs, and industrial partners spanning nine countries around the world to build on the last decade of research in robotics and computer vision, concentrating that technology into a unique mobile device," added Johnny Lee and the ATAP-Project Tango Team posted on Thursday on the official Project Tango website. "We are putting early prototypes into the hands of developers that can imagine the possibilities and help bring those ideas into reality."

This is also the second actual Project Tango device to be rolled out by the tech giant. A prototype smartphone was launched in March with just 200 units made available to developers. The device was equipped with Kinect-like 3D sensors and other components.

In some ways Google could be seen to be playing catch up in the 3D space, as rival Facebook bought virtual-reality goggle maker Oculus VR Inc. for $2 billion. Facebook CEO called the technology a "platform of tomorrow."

The technology is also one of many "what ifs" as Google ATAP noted, "What if you could capture the dimensions of your home simply by walking around with your phone before you went furniture shopping? What if directions to a new location didn’t stop at the street address? What if you never again found yourself lost in a new building? What if the visually-impaired could navigate unassisted in unfamiliar indoor places? What if you could search for a product and see where the exact shelf is located in a super-store?"

Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group, a skunkworks division, came to the tech giant as part of its acquisition of Motorola Mobility in 2012 for $12.5 billion.