Google to put 3D vision technology in experimental tablet

The tablets could be ready before Google's developer conference in late June, the WSJ reported

Google is developing a new tablet with advanced vision capabilities that can be used to capture 3D images.

About 4,000 of the prototypes will be produced at the beginning of next month for use by developers, reported the Wall Street Journal, citing people briefed on the company's plans. The new tablet could be ready before Google's developer conference Google I/O kicks off on June 25, the Journal said.

The tablet will have a 7-inch screen, infrared depth censors, two back cameras and software for processing 3D images, and will be part of Google's Project Tango, according to the newspaper.

Project Tango is Google's attempt to create a mobile device that shares a human's sense of space and movement and understands and perceives the world the same way we do.

A Google spokesman declined to comment on the tablet plans on Friday.

In February, Google launched a 5-inch Project Tango prototype Android smartphone combining technology from the worlds of computer vision and robotics to create a 3D model of the phone's surroundings.

This technology could for instance be used to quickly find the exact shelf where a product is located in a store or to make a 3D floor plan of a house before going out to shop for furniture. Project Tango could also guide the visually impaired around unfamiliar indoor places and provide step-by-step directions in stores.

These are all possibilities for the tablet too, reported the Wall Street Journal, adding that the technology could also be used for immersive videogames.

Two Project Tango phones are heading to the International Space Station during the upcoming Orbital 2 commercial resupply mission scheduled to launch on June 10. The phones will be attached to self-powered soccer-ball-sized robots called "Spheres" that will fly around inside the space station.

NASA will test how well the 3D modeling and visual odometry can be used to let the Spheres learn their environment based on what it sees, rather than relying on fixed sensors in the environment. One day, the 3D phones could also be used to fly around the outside of the space station or even for NASA's plans to land on an asteroid.

(See video of the Tango phone and Spheres at NASA in a YouTube video.)

Google is not the only company investing in advanced 3D tech. Facebook is also interested and is in the process of buying Oculus VR, the developer of the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset for about US$2 billion. That acquisition is about much more than gaming though. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sees it as the next major computing platform, one that will be used for shopping, communication, education and more.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Using artificial intelligence to surprise your customers

​We have expected artificial intelligence (AI) will become part of our everyday lives for quite some time.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Is customer segmentation dead?

Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM, announced the death of customer segmentation five years ago saying, "The shift is to go from the segment to the individual. She might have been a bit premature for most marketers, but if customer segmentation isn't dead yet, it's definitely on life support.

Richard Taylor

Senior digital strategist, Spinach

How people buy brands

Andrew Ehrenberg was a giant in the field of marketing science. He believed scientific methods could reveal law-like patterns of how people buy. In this post, I summarise one of Ehrenberg’s most important discoveries and its implications on how people buy brands.

Kyle Ross

Strategist, TRP

What a great article. Thanks for sharing. Today Digital Marketing is the basic need for a business to survive. As online presence is very...

Ecomsolver Private Limited

Want to master digital transformation? Stop thinking about your own problems

Read more

Feeling grateful that customer led digital transformation could improve business and generate more business growth. Many companies are no...

Lilly Lawrence

How a customer-led digital transformation has helped this CMO generate $6m in incremental business

Read more

If a business games me happy than there is a higher chance I will go to them.

Martinez

The Iconic: becoming customer-focussed transformed our business

Read more

That’s a great example of surprising AR ad that went viral because it was first of its kind. Probably a similar effect to some scale can ...

Natasha Kvitka

Using artificial intelligence to surprise your customers

Read more

Hey there! it is a really meaningful post. I too have written a few similar articles about SEM, SEO, Social Media, Digital Marketing Tren...

Rohit

Digital advertising continues to dominate marketing budgets

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in