Las Vegas – The first Project Tango device will be released for the consumer this summer. Lenovo Group Limited (LNVGY) is partnering with Google to make the first smartphone with Project Tango technology, the two tech giants announced Thursday during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The goal is to give users an interesting approach to augmented reality in their daily life.
Manufactured by Lenovo, the first Project Tango smartphone will cost less than $500. The company explained that it wants the product to be accessible to the masses, rather than to a niche. Lenovo revealed that the phone will be equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processor. The handset is not finalized yet but the final customer version will be less than 6.5 inches and it will include three rear-facing cameras.
“By adding a few extra sensors and some computer vision software, Project Tango transforms your smartphone into a magic lens that lets you place digital information on your physical world,” Google said.
Project Tango creates 3D experiences on mobile devices by using both computer visions and motion sensors. Most smartphones and tablets come with an accelerometer, a gyroscope and cameras, but Project Tango gadgets also come with extra sensors that make them better track depth and motion. These sensors combined with custom computer vision software, enable devices to create augmented reality appreciations that would not be possible with typical mobile gadgets.
For instance, games can be more immersive as your smartphone lets you visualize more accurate digital content overlaid onto your real environment. A Project Tango app named Car Visualizer enables you to use your tablet as a “window” to view and interact with a virtual car as you move the device around your surroundings.
The Tango technology will come in handy in many everyday-life situations. Unlike GPS, this software can help you with indoor directions, since its cameras and sensors detect your device’s exact location in relation to the area around you. Once you enter a building, you will not need to ask anyone how to get to your meeting’s room, since your phone or tablet will guide you step-by-step as little dots appear on your screen.
Another practical application would be simple measurements. A Project Tango device can give you an accurate measurement of a certain wall if you tap on one part of it, and then tap to the end of the wall. Besides, the software can measure the area of a square and 3D-map any given room. Moreover, thanks to a partnership with Lowe’s, users can drag and drop digital furniture into your living room to see how it would actually look like with real measurements.
Google and Lenovo are inviting developers from around the world to submit proposals of apps that would work on Project Tango’s platform. They can go to the Project Tango App Incubator from now until mid-February. Google began providing developers with kits for Project Tango tablets last year and more than a dozen customized apps can be found today in Google Play. The project was first introduced in 2014 by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group, only available for research projects, prototypes and developer kits.