We've already seen that Google is working on some pretty incredible things with Project Tango, the space-aware smartphone project that's essentially capable of capturing 3D maps of indoor locations. The team behind Tango – Google's ATAP – is already working with NASA to use prototypes in autonomous robots to aid astronauts on the Space Station, but now it looks a Tango-esque device could be coming a lot closer to home than that.

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Google is said to be developing a tablet version of Tango, complete with a seven-inch display, dual cameras, infrared depth sensors, and "advanced software" capable of, well, doing what Tango does. Here's the real kicker, though: the company is said to be producing 4,000 prototype Tango tablets beginning next month. According to "people familiar with the matter," these demo units will go directly to the hands of developers, who can in turn start working their magic with this next-gen device.

With Google I/O coming up next month, the timing seems pretty obvious here: there will likely be a heavy focus on Tango at Google's upcoming conference (and perhaps with the upcoming version of Android?), so handing prototype units to the folks who use their brain-power to put these kinds of things on the map makes a lot of sense.

Christmas is a great and all, but I'd argue that Google I/O season is the most wonderful time of the year.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Kylecore

    "Christmas is a great and all, but I'd argue that Google I/O season is the most wonderful time of the year."

    - Yes, yes it is. (:

    • M.L.

      Steam summer sale.is the best season, duh ;)

      • Brandon Smith

        ¿Por qué no los dos?

  • remister

    Would you care to Tango?

  • ericnpc

    Good move. I think that it makes more sense to put these not average-consumer-oriented sensors and features on a tablet rather that putting them on a phone. The bigger screen can make the generated information easier to manipulate and work with.

  • SVem26

    New Android "MOLLY" info peeps.. Its most definitely coming at the i/o. Also with molly is the "Sauron" (get it? all seeing eye").. That will be a kinect like sensor device for motion control and gaming.. More coming,,

    • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

      Isn't Molly Android TV?

  • Kent Andersen

    GOOGLE! why didn't you let me buy a IO ticket!!!

  • catherinekylie

    the most wonderful time of the year http://bit.ly/1t2vqRW

  • catherinekylie

    Christmas is a great and http://bit.ly/1t2vqRW

  • Charles Azmit

    This is cool and all, and I want it, but what would I really be able to do with it? Is there any reason the average tablet user would want/need this on their tablet?

    • Brandon Smith

      Off the top of my head, a device that knows the entirety of its surroundings and whether something is moving sounds like a cool new technology for devs to work with. Realistically speaking, it's probably best used for indoor maps on Google Maps, tho.

    • David Cesarino

      Crowdsourcing 3D indoor mappings for public places. I'd like it.

    • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

      I think that's the point of the developers getting hold of it first? They can create some apps that will make you understand why you would want this.

    • Shabba

      My guess is that one of the first uses would be making Photo Spheres less of a slow and inaccurate pain to take properly.

  • DeadSOL

    "It's the most, wonderful time of the yeeeeeeeeeear"

    The song really was about Google I/O.

  • Hi

    Thats It. Everyone at IO gets a Tango!

    • guest

      It would be a waste to give those Tango tablets to the kind of developers that like to go to conferences in SF...

  • Alibertylovingman

    DId anyone else read NASA as NSA?

  • http://www.dazeinfo.com/ Dazeinfo -Startling Insights O

    As Google I/O is near we may see many things in few days.