Way cool: Google's newest tablet can take 3D pictures!

The prototype is under Project Tango, Google's effort to introduce 3D mapping to mobile

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
May 23, 2014
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Honestly, Elon Musk and Google are the only things that give me hope for American innovation these days. Submarine cars and balloons to deliver the Internet? Sounds pretty out there, but doesn't everything seem that way at first? Its only later that we say it was genius.

Now Google seems set to do something I really didn't think was possible: make a tablet that would seem exciting to me again! And it is going to do it with that thing that innovators love to trot out to make things seem cool: 3D.

Google is getting ready produce a new tablet that will feature two back cameras, along with infrared depth sensors and advanced software that will allow people to "capture precise three-dimensional images of objects," according to a report out from the Wall Street Journal on Thursday

The company is planning to produce 4,000 prototypes of the tablet, which will also reportedly have a 7-inch screen, starting next month.

The new tablet is being developed out Google's Project Tango research project, an Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) that Google inherited when it bought Motorola back in 2011.

Google first announced Project Tango back in February, and released a prototype, declaring is intention to bring 3D mapping to smartphones.

“We are physical beings that live in a 3D world,” Google’s Johnny Lee, the head of the Tango Project team, wrote in a blog post at the time. “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.”

Ultimately, the goal is to allow people to interact with their physical space. That can mean simply never getting lost in a building again, or it can mean using that space to create a virtual video game army.

It does this by having the phone's sensors make more than a quarter of a million 3D measurements every second. It then uses the data it collects in order to build a 3D model of the surroundings.

This video better explains how it works:

With 4,000 prototypes of these new tablets soon to be out there, there will be plenty of room for developers to come up with some very cool uses for them.

atorNews has reached out to Google for confirmation. The company was unavailable for comment and we will update if we learn more. 

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