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Google Inverts 3D Printing

Project Tango recreates your surroundings in 3D on your device

Nicole Billitz
Google Inverts 3D Printing

Project Tango is a prototype created by Google and based in Android which tracks the 3D motion of the device, and then creates a 3D model based on the environment around it.

Project Tango is a prototype created by Google and based in Android which tracks the 3D motion of the device, and then creates a 3D model based on the environment around it. Using sensors to gain a better awareness or the space and motion on the human scale, Project Tango contains both hardware and software that allows for the re-creation of the 3D motion including a map of the surroundings. The sensors create more than a 250 million 3D measurements every second, and update the positive and orientation in real time, while combining the data into the 3D model on your device.

Unveiled at Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona, the 7” tablet development kit is powered by the Nvidia Tegra K2 processor and boasts 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, an infrared camera, with a fisheye lens for motion tracking, integrated depth sensing, WiFi, BTLE, and even 4G LTE depending on the region. The development kits will be released only to professional developers that have an interest and experience in mobile 3D sensing. It is available through Google’s Play Store, and will cost about $1000.

The sensors create more than a 250 million 3D measurements every second, and update the positive and orientation in real time, while combining the data into the 3D model on your device.

The object mapping is fast and very accurate, but due to the expense, it is likely that this is not a tool for everyone. However, this might be a great tool for a number of different kinds of businesses. Architects, interior designers, engineers, and even students will find this device helpful. In the demo at MWC, Project Tango allowed users to first experience the inside of the car, where they could lean forward, crouch down and inspect underneath the seats, and walk through the car door, and see the vehicle from the outside as well.

Eventually, a smartphone will also be developed, but just like the tablet, it will be several years before it reaches the public.

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