Google announces Project Tango smartphone with Kinect-like 3D imaging sensors [VIDEO]


Project Tango Google

Don’t bother checking you calendars, it isn’t April 1st. With that out of the way, Google was able to throw everyone a curve ball today with the announcement of Project Tango, their new in-house smartphone prototype outfitted with Kinect-like sensors.

The 5-inch smartphone as is being developed by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) the same people behind Project Ara. Project Tango is lead by Johnny Lee — a man who helped make the Microsoft Kinect possible (makes sense, right?). The goal of Project Tango is to ultimately give mobile devices a “human-scale understanding” of space and motion, allowing users to map the world around them in ways they never thought possible.

Project Tango blueprint

The prototype uses many of the sensors already found in our smartphones today (gyroscope, cameras, etc.) but with a few key differences: Project Tango is outfitted with a 4MP camera, motion tracking camera, and depth sensing sensor. These all work in conjunction with Tango’s unique motion and depth tracking “vision processor” manufactured from Movidus. Other specs — including the version of Android its running — weren’t provided.

When it comes to practical, real-world applications, Google mentions indoor navigation and of course, incredibly immersive virtual reality video games (think Oculus Rift). Project Tango could even assist the visually impaired if applied correctly. Really, the possibilities are endless.

Google Project Tango

Starting today, Google is allowing developers to sign up for early access to the prototype dev kits. The first 200 handsets will only go out to carefully selected devs looking to make applications and/or algorithms atop this brand new platform, so if you’re interested, you better have a good pitch ready. As far as availability, we don’t expect these to be hitting Best Buy anytime soon, but Google does have plans to ship all prototype units by March 14th, 2014, barely a few short weeks away.

With Project Ara still fresh in everyone’s mind, we can’t believe Google is already undertaking another hardware project like Tango. We expect to learn much more during this year’s Google I/O kicking off in June but in the meantime, all we can say is… WOW.

[Google ATAP]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

The “all new HTC One” leaks again; this time in silver and gray

Previous article

HTC M8 (The New One) shows up at the FCC, confirms new curvier/tall design

Next article

You may also like


  1. How else are the Terminators go to find us if they can’t see 3-Dimensionally?

    1. At least you’ll hear them coming a mile away… http://youtu.be/wE3fmFTtP9g

      1. Kill it with fire!!!!!!!!

        1. What if it’s dragonborn?

          1. lol this made me giggle. ahhhh Skyrim good old days LOL i was like…”i swear i heard dragonborn from somewhere….OH SHITTTTTT FUS DORAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH”

      2. I swore I was looking at the front initially! Very surprised when it started to hop backwards!

      3. That’s weird.. I make that same sound when I have gas and go for a run..

  2. This plus Glass?

    *Mind = blown*

    1. One step past that…this technology inside google glass. GPS becomes secondary as Glass maps the buildings around you and knows exactly where you are, even indoors (think Malls, stadiums, amusement parks)

      1. That’s what I want, actually. I get lost *so* easily in the Houston Galleria. I believe it’s in the top 10 in the USA.

        An indoor map is MUCH needed. =.=

  3. At 0:24 it looks like they’re in the Enterprise’s Holodeck.

  4. Hurry up and take my money!

  5. Minecraft would be sick with this, just sayin

    1. No. Just no.

  6. Google wants to build robots and they are putting together a lot of the pieces. This is one of them.

  7. Forget Nexus, give me Tango!

  8. Whoa there might finally be a Google Phone.

    1. This is quite literally the first Google-made phone. Pretty crazy.

  9. Hmm, I bet the Google Maps team is going to love all the data these phones collect.

  10. I just got a boner….and I’m at work….>.<

  11. And a battery life of 15 minutes! (probably)

    1. The “vision processor” is said to minimize battery drain, also the phone appears to be kinda thick. I’d assume they have a pretty beefy battery in there. Hopefully we’ll learn more about the phone soon :)

      1. Then the battery would be compensating. Hmm…

  12. This is amazing :)

  13. wow ..I am sure ms and apple will patent it

    1. All things aside, I hope MS and Google can work something out. That would be lovely.

  14. i cant wait for this thing to map my pocket

    1. Might be a little awkward when it accidentally shares your penis size huh? 0_o

  15. Will this be available for iOS?

    1. DIE!!!!

    2. I thought people here would get the Apple Sarcasm by now.
      Sent from my Nexus 5.

  16. where are the real life applicatons to this

    1. Really? There were thoughts presented in the article. LoL!!

  17. Oh? Goodbye Nexus line-up, hello this?

    So the Nexus line-up is going away because Google will be making their own phones? Is that a good assumption?

  18. these future thinkers think in ways that i cant even understand.

  19. Is this why it looks like the HTC Second One has two cameras? ;)

  20. Guess I can stop buying hampsters now.

  21. Johnny Lee did little on the Kinnect, he didn’t get hired for design. If you want to see what he did before Microsoft, search YouTube for “Johnny Lee head tracking” and check out his vids from 6 to 4 years ago. That’s where you can see what he’s been capable of all along. He’s far more amazing than you think.

  22. This would save me so many trips to the hardware store working on house projects.

  23. Wowzers

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Featured