Project tango is a Google technology platform that uses computer vision to enable mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to detect their positions relative to the world around them without using GPS or other external signals. This allows application developers to create user experiences that include indoor navigation, 3D mapping, measurement of physical spaces, recognition of known environments, augmented reality, and windows into virtual 3D worlds.
Official logo of project tango
Project tango is actually an application to augmented reality. It is an specially aware camera setup which measures the environment in a 3D scale.It generally raises the question. What IS augmented reality?
Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality.
There is a key difference between augmented reality and virtual reality (vr).By contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one. Augmentation is conventionally in real-time and in semantic context with environmental elements, such as sports scores on TV during a match. With the help of advanced AR technology the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable.
The software works by integrating three types of functionality:
Motion tracking: using visual features of the environment, in combination with accelerometer and gyroscope data, to closely track the device’s movements in space.
Area learning: storing environment data in a map that can be re-used later, shared with other Project Tango devices, and enhanced with metadata such as notes, instructions, or points of interest
Depth percetion: detecting distances, sizes, and surfaces in the environment.
Together, these generate data about the device in “six degrees of freedom” (3 aces orientation plus 3 axes of motion) and detailed three-dimensional information about the environment.
Applications on mobile devices use Project Tango’s C and Java API to access this data in real time. In addition, an API is also provided for integrating Project Tango with the Unity game engine; this enables the rapid conversion or creation of games that allow the user to interact and navigate in the game space by moving and rotating a Project Tango device in real space. These APIs are documented on the Google developer website.
Google project tango (now known only as google tango) is a real life application of the above described augmented reality technology. Google has produced two devices to demonstrate the Project Tango technology: the Peanut phone (no longer available) and the Yellowstone 7-inch tablet. Recently lenovo also released a phone called “Phab 2” which is a tango assisted phone.
The Lenovo Phab 2
Beside Google, microsoft is currently working on their holo lens,which is an augmented reality based headset. Also Qualcomm and Intel both announced that they are developing Project Tango reference devices as models for device manufacturers who use their mobile chipsets.
So basically with tango on its full potential,you can do all sorts of works from measuring your window with a wave or inserting a big ass dinosaur in your room! Prepare to get spooked guys!
Preview of tango at Google I/0 2016