Project Tango is the latest Android smartphone prototype from Google that is said to learn and map the world by detecting the movement of its owner; A new attempt from the company to create a robust mapping system that could offer more precise directions in the future.
"The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion," says Johnny Lee, leader of Project Tango. Google is now preparing to hand out its 200 available devices to developers looking to build mapping tools, games and new algorithms for the phone's sensors. The company expects all devices to be in developer hands by March 14.
To detect new areas, Project Tango features a motion tracking camera and depth sensor built into its back end. The phone is capable of detecting its orientation while being moved in order to create detailed indoor maps, says Google. As a result, this could eventually lead to more realistic augmented reality titles or assist the visually impaired in navigating new areas.
Project leader Johnny Lee is likely best known for his earlier work creating virtual reality tools using a Wii remote while at Carnegie Mellon. He would later go on to aid in the development of Kinect alongside Microsoft before joining Google in 2011. Project Tango is currently being developed by the Advanced Technology and Projects group, a technology group formed inside Motorola Mobility before the company was later acquired by Google.