Report: Google making Project Tango-esque tablet that can map 3D surroundings

Google Project Tango

Google I/O just got a whole lot more interesting. A new report out of the Wall Street Journal suggests Google is looking to produce around 4,000 tablets that can map its 3D surroundings. It doesn’t sound like much more than a bigger version of Google’s Project Tango phone, which was formally unveiled just a few short months ago.

If this tablet is anything like that phone, it will have a couple of cameras, an infrared sensor and an RGB sensor that all combine to map a 3D image of whatever the cameras are being pointed at. Here’s an example of the sort of 3D-mapped image you can take. Google I/O attendees will be pleased to hear this next bit of news: those 4,000 tablets are said to be distributed to some of you lot at the show.

Project Tango Google

The purpose? Google simply wants to see what creative minds will come up with when they’re equipped with this unique piece of technology. The ability to map 3D surroundings is nothing new in the tech world — Google’s own self driving cars already do a darn good job of that — but this would be one of the first times we’ve seen the technology in such compact form, and in the hands of eager independent developers.

We still don’t know much about the specs of either of these devices, though we imagine Google’s not really concerned with creating super phones and super tablets in this endeavor (that’s what the Nexus line is for *hint hint, wink wink*). June couldn’t get here soon enough.

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  • androidscales

    Wink wink to fruit company and broken windows company instead of spending effort in court ….well you get the drift

  • Toukale

    Yeeeeeesssss! Another big pr win for our overlord google. This is announced as if google just introduced a viable real world product instead of some cool tech demo they have in their labs. This seems to be how they do with a lot of their products. Maybe it’s me, but that’s been a great formula for they pr machine. Just about every company have nice tech demos in their labs somewhere they could show us. This reminds me of all those concept videos microsoft was famous for putting out in the 90′s. Talking about microsoft, I am still waiting for any of the products they showed us on some of those concept videos 10+ years ago. Another classic case of “mistaken activities for achievements.”

  • domahman

    stick it in their google cars and start making use of the streetview images and map them onto the 3d world. Update maps automatically and find new routes automatically. update traffic realtime and manage routes realtime.

    • domahman

      provide 3d maps to game makers so they don’t have to reinvent the wheels or even sell them to movie makers and have virtual playground based on real data. You can make need 4 speed movies without setting foot on the pavement.

  • steveb944

    “Google’s not really concerned with creating super phones and super tablets in this endeavor (that’s what the Silver line is for *hint hint, wink wink*).”

    Fixed it for you since Nexus is supposedly dead.

    • Marc Perrusquia

      I really hope it’s just a rumor but it looks like it’s true.