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.
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.