Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is working on a new 7-inch tablet with multiple advanced-imaging sensors for capturing three-dimensional, or 3-D, images, a new report said Thursday, adding that the company is planning to produce nearly 4,000 prototypes of the tablet, beginning next month.
The new device, which is expected to be a version of Google’s existing prototype “Project Tango” smartphone released in February by the company’s Advanced Technology and Projects division, will likely have two cameras in the back, infrared depth sensors and advanced software that will help the device capture precise 3-D images, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
The new tablet, which is expected to be released ahead of Google’s annual developer conference scheduled for the end of June, could have similar imaging features with a regular camera, a motion-sensing camera and integrated depth sensors mounted between the two cameras.
Google's Project Tango is a standard designed for Android phones and tablets to track the full 3-D motion of a device, while simultaneously creating a map of the environment around it, Reuters reported.
“Our current prototype is a 5” Android phone containing highly customized hardware and software designed to track the full 3-dimensional motion of the device as you hold it while simultaneously creating a map of the environment,” Google said, on a website dedicated to Project Tango. “These sensors allow the phone to make over a quarter million 3D measurements every second updating its position and orientation in real-time combining that data into a single 3D model of the space around you.”
According to Google, the technology demonstrated in the smartphone version could be used to develop an indoor navigation system for visually-impaired users, step-by-step directions within stores and more immersive video games.
“It is critical to open the new technology to developers first as the key is how you can translate the technology into practical applications,” Bryan Ma, an analyst at International Data Corporation, told the Journal.