Google's Project Tango, that awesome tech that allows a gadget to map out three-dimensional spaces, is really cool. But it's taking its damn sweet time getting here: Tango was first announced over two years ago and offered as a developer kit tablet last summer, and the first Tango-capable smartphone was supposed to arrive from Lenovo this month. That seems less than likely now - the store page for the Phab 2 Pro has been adjusted from "coming this summer" to "coming this fall."
Lenovo Tech World is taking place on June 9th in San Francisco. There wasn't much reason to care about Tech World last year, but this time there will be at least one big announcement. The company pre-announced its upcoming Tango phone at CES, and this is where we'll get the specifics. The website also mentions Moto, indicating we could get something official about the upcoming Motorola devices.
Google has been fiddling around with Project Tango for a few years, but there have yet to be any consumer devices. That's expected to change this summer when Lenovo releases a Tango phone, which it previously announced at CES. Now, Google and Lenovo have set up shop in a Barcelona museum to show what Tango can do for you.
Google announced Project Tango, an effort to detect real-world space on an Android device, nearly two years ago. Since then we've seen tablet development kits become available and eventually go on sale to anyone, invite or no. Nevertheless, these devices were aimed at developers, making them more interesting for people who enjoy playing with code as much (or more) as they do playing with gadgets.
At this year's CES, Lenovo announced the development of the first Project Tango phone intended for consumers.
When Dell launched the Venue 8 7000 tablet, a sleek device that's insanely thin, it included a bunch of extra cameras. They provided the hardware necessary for Intel RealSense, which adds depth-sensing capability for images. The end result was kind of awkward, but hey, it's an innovation in progress.
Today at the Intel Developer Forum, the company announced that it has worked with Google to develop a Project Tango developer kit for smartphones utilizing RealSense. To accompany this news, there's a smartphone sporting a 6-inch display and a bunch of cameras on the back. Engadget has shared several photos of the device, which looks a bit like the top half of a Nintendo 3DS.
We haven't heard a lot about Project Tango lately, but Google is still working with developers to advance this take on machine vision and sensing technology. As part of its ongoing efforts, the Tango development kit is finally being made available outside the US. It's out today in Canada and South Korea, and will come to ten more countries later this month.
Google recently dropped the price of the Project Tango developer tablet to $512, but there was no new hardware announced at I/O. Qualcomm just can't contain itself any longer, apparently. The chip maker has announced a new piece of Tango hardware is on the way, and it's powered by the Snapdragon 810 [insert overheating joke].
Want to buy Google's developer kit for Project Tango, the tablet that can perform real-time 3D spatial mapping? Well you can't - not without an invitation, anyway. But for at least some of the applicants who have been invited to buy the Android-powered Tango tablet, the gigantic price tag is now a little more manageable. An Android Police reader passed along an email from Google offering Project Tango for $512, half its original price.
A few Twitter users are reporting the same thing, with varying degrees of enthusiasm.
aaaand @project_tango prices slashed by a power of 2. so I guess astroturfed kickstarters don't work too well.
Project Tango, also known as "that Google thing that isn't Project Ara," is growing up. The 3D motion and mapping hardware has been moved out of the Advanced Technology And Products Group (basically Google's version of Lockheed Skunkworks) after two years of development and the not-quite-release of a developer's kit. Now, like all recent graduates in this economy, it's moving back in with its parents at Google. So... right down the hall in Mountain View, I suppose?
Tango is a software and hardware package that uses various sensitive motion trackers and camera systems to record incredible amounts of motion detail while simultaneously mapping out the surrounding environment.