A few months back Google held a secret gathering to select developers. Google invited and gathered these selected developers to reveal to them a development project; Project Tango. What is Project Tango? Manned by a selected team of engineers in Google, based in California, the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) team dreamed up a device that would be a technological breakthrough. It will change our perception of the limitations of what technology can do to us. They developed a new smartphone, a new smartphone equipped with 2 cameras and a depth sensor; the two other cameras are to capture photos or videos and a motion sensor respectively. This smartphone would ‘see’ where you’re going and map it out on the phone itself. ATAP claims that they want devices to see the environment as how a human would see it. The smartphone was released in February but it will not be available for end-consumers like you and me. The 200 units that were released was handed over to the developers that was invited for that reveal. From Google’s Project Tango, so much more is possible; virtual reality on your smartphone, 3D mapping for robotics application, health sciences and plenty more. But this isn’t the end of the story.
Very recently Google ATAP team has just announced a new device. This device comes also with a 4 MegaPixel (MP) camera, a motion sensing camera and a depth sensor around the back of the device. Sounds like another smartphone maybe? Except that it is not. This time it is a seven-inched tablet housing the Kinect style ‘all-seeing eye’. The smartphone was already a solid performer with Snapdragon 800 to power it. On this tablet Google ATAP team is bumping the processor up a notch by putting in Nvidia’s Tegra K1 processor. As techENT have written, the Nvidia Tegra K1 is a beast and holds much promise. Now most smartphones and tablets come with a maximum of 3GB of RAM, the Project Tango tablet will pack a 4GB RAM inside. Paired with the Nvidia Tegra K1 this would be the most advanced device in the market today. It’s storage is as dramatic as the rest of the specifications of this device; 128GB of memory, at least twice what others in the market would offer today. The only regular things with the device is that the screen is at 1080p Full HD resolution, there is an LTE antenna inside, and it is fitted with Android 4.4 KitKat. Despite the close to ordinary things, the tablet is bonkers. Oh, did I forget to mention that it comes with USB 3.0 HDMI out of the box as well? Mantis Vision, a company much known for motion sensing and 3D mapping software will have an active part in the development of this tablet; mainly the software aspects for the Kinect style cameras and sensors. Of course with all these promised hardware it is not cheap. Do not expect Nexus style pricing with this tablet. It costs $1024(RM3379) when it will be released later this month or early next month. Of course their target market is the developers and industries where they could benefit from this device, not us. After all they are still called the developers kit.