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Google reportedly developing 'Project Tango' tablet with 3D mapping capabilities

post #1 of 38
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Google is reportedly working on a tablet version of its "Project Tango" computer vision initiative that incorporates multiple advanced imaging sensors into a portable device for real time three-dimensional mapping.


Google's Project Tango Android phone. | Source: Google


According to The Wall Street Journal, the Internet search giant is furthering research into computer vision technology with a 7-inch tablet kitted out with two rear-facing cameras, infrared depth sensors and highly customized software. Sources claim production of 4,000 prototype units will begin in June.

From the report's description, the small-format slate seems to be an oversized version of the existing prototype Project Tango smartphone released in February by Google's Advanced Technology and Projects division.

The tablet appears to have the same or similar imaging hardware as the smartphone version, which features a regular camera mounted near the top of the handset, a motion-sensing camera positioned opposite and integrated depth sensors mounted between the two. It is unknown what type of CPU will power the tablet, but the phone boasts two "computer vision" processors and assorted positioning sensors for calculating movement in three-dimensions.

Google's Project Tango webpage notes the sensor suite "allow(s) 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."

Applications of the tech could range from navigation aids for visually impaired users to immersive augmented reality games.

Developers already have their hands on the phone and WSJ reports the company plans to release the tablet to select testers prior to Google I/O, which begins on June 25.

post #2 of 38
But they don't have Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre. /s
post #3 of 38

Can't wait ...

 

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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post #4 of 38
I just love the way many developers in the video have MacBooks on their desks...
post #5 of 38
Maps + another dimension for government spying.
post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

But they don't have Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre. /s
Apple has been developing a similar technology for a long time ... Lets see whos implementation hits the market first?
post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yojimbo007 View Post

Apple has been developing a similar technology for a long time ... Lets see whos implementation hits the market first?

 

From what I've read Project Tango even utilizes some of the PrimeSense technology that Apple purchased.

"Proof is irrelevant" - Solipsism
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"Proof is irrelevant" - Solipsism
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post #8 of 38
Originally Posted by Disturbia View Post


 

You just put an image in my head of someone wearing Google Glass who is forced to view augmented reality erections sticking out of the pants of everyone around him.

 

I don’t know whether to laugh or be horrified.

post #9 of 38

Cool!

 

And that seems to be the problem all the time. The first read of any Google research/ prototype makes me think it is a cool technology. And then the ADD overlords of Google suck out all interest by never releasing anything.

post #10 of 38

Wait I recognize that guy!

 

He was throwing his virginity at Nintendo for years. He had some AMAZING gaming ideas he was giving away to them for free.

Nintendo spit him out and Microsoft hired him(of course).

 

 

And now Giggle is the new Microsoft. And I found it funny to see him hired there!!

 

P.S. STUPID Nintendo.

post #11 of 38
Google reportedly developing 'Project Tango' tablet with 3D mapping capabilities

This is announced as if Google actually has a viable product rather then a new-smelling fart in the laboratory. More then likely this will amount to as much as the Microsoft Slate of the 1990s... a lot of smoke and mirrors before they get back to the Jet Pack and fitting an advertising display in the Nest Thermostat big enough to catch your attention from the adjoining room...
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post
 

 

From what I've read Project Tango even utilizes some of the PrimeSense technology that Apple purchased.

I'm sure that relationship might not last long. :-)

post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cali View Post
 

Wait I recognize that guy!

 

He was throwing his virginity at Nintendo for years. He had some AMAZING gaming ideas he was giving away to them for free.

Nintendo spit him out and Microsoft hired him(of course).

 

 

And now Giggle is the new Microsoft. And I found it funny to see him hired there!!

 

P.S. STUPID Nintendo.

I can see some special uses for this type of technology, but I don't think the masses are going to need it or buy into it.

post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

Google reportedly developing 'Project Tango' tablet with 3D mapping capabilities

This is announced as if Google actually has a viable product rather then a new-smelling fart in the laboratory. More then likely this will amount to as much as the Microsoft Slate of the 1990s... a lot of smoke and mirrors before they get back to the Jet Pack and fitting an advertising display in the Nest Thermostat big enough to catch your attention from the adjoining room...
But that's how it is with everything Google. Where I work we had a speaker yesterday who referenced Google's so-called smart contact lens and how the future was your smartphone embedded into your contacts lenses. Of course he completely failed to mention that this product is AL LEAST 5 years away from being a viable product. And that's assuming it ever makes it out of the lab.
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernz View Post

I just love the way many developers in the video have MacBooks on their desks...

 

Why wouldn't they be? 

post #16 of 38
Well, if "thermonuclear war" was declared (or almost) between Apple and Google, I would have expected Google to push their own laptops (e.g. Chromebooks). It's like Google execs using an iPhone, or McDonald's president eating at Burger King... It's all about perception.
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yojimbo007 View Post


Apple has been developing a similar technology for a long time ... Lets see whos implementation hits the market first?

Personally, I'm more interested in who does it best. I'd rather be best than first. – Just my two cents.

post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernz View Post

Well, if "thermonuclear war" was declared (or almost) between Apple and Google, I would have expected Google to push their own laptops (e.g. Chromebooks). It's like Google execs using an iPhone, or McDonald's president eating at Burger King... It's all about perception.

Google never declared war of any kind against Apple. That's just a cry from some Apple fans meant to rally the troops so to speak as tho Apple is in danger and being attacked 1hmm.gif

Google has an incredible number of Macs, 43,000 of them give or take a few. I imagine that makes them one of Apple's larger customers and pretty darn Apple-friendly.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/lisa13/managing-macs-google-scale
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post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yojimbo007 View Post

Apple has been developing a similar technology for a long time ... Lets see whos implementation hits the market first?

It doesn't really matter whose implementation hits the market first, but HOW this concept is implemented. It not necessarily the concept, or when it is introduced, but HOW the concept is implemented. The how is more important than the what. It is all about UX. And that's where Apple triumphs: implementation and UX.
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

This is announced as if Google actually has a viable product rather then a new-smelling fart in the laboratory. More then likely this will amount to as much as the Microsoft Slate of the 1990s... a lot of smoke and mirrors before they get back to the Jet Pack and fitting an advertising display in the Nest Thermostat big enough to catch your attention from the adjoining room...

Does anyone know if stockholders are concerned and disapprove of all these Google initiates? In some areas they do excellent work, but it looks like they easily burn money on the weirdest projects. Apple has been known to be 'disliked' by stockholders for not showing road maps, for example.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Google has an incredible number of Macs, 43,000 of them give or take a few. I imagine that makes them one of Apple's larger customers and pretty darn Apple-friendly.
https://www.usenix.org/conference/lisa13/managing-macs-google-scale

But is that mandatory? I would presume employees nowadays can simply fill a checkbox on some form before their first day on the job, especially in the US where this type of freedom is respected.
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post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yojimbo007 View Post

Apple has been developing a similar technology for a long time ... Lets see whos implementation hits the market first?

I personally highly doubt that Apple is developping a smartphone 3d mapping solution with their Primesense acquisition (which wasn't its primary function when Apple bought it). I expect Apple to release something more directly consumer oriented like that. F.e. improving the existing technology and integrating it in Apple TV.
Edited by Chipsy - 5/23/14 at 5:41am
post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernz View Post

I just love the way many developers in the video have MacBooks on their desks...

That isn't not too uncommon. I use a MacBook Pro to do development across various platforms. Rather than trying to cobble together a Hackintosh to do iOS and OS X development, it is easier just to buy a say, a MacBook Pro or Mac Pro, and then dual-boot.

post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


But that's how it is with everything Google. Where I work we had a speaker yesterday who referenced Google's so-called smart contact lens and how the future was your smartphone embedded into your contacts lenses. Of course he completely failed to mention that this product is AL LEAST 5 years away from being a viable product. And that's assuming it ever makes it out of the lab.

I think there's a legal advantage in disclosing your progress regularly. In doing so, you reduce the risk that someone else later patents something similar to what you are working on, claims novelty, and renders your efforts wasted.

post #24 of 38

I'm surprised Microsoft wouldn't be leading this technology with their Kinect success and all the hacks implemented with the technology. At any rate, I think it's silly to imagine that this will never get out of the lab. It's just a smaller Kinect, and smaller is one thing that technology does naturally. I'll bet that this capability will be commoditized in three years. Stereo vision technology has been used in robotics for years.

 

post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post

I personally highly doubt that Apple is developping a smartphone 3d mapping solution with their Primesense acquisition (which wasn't its primary function when Apple bought it). I expect Apple to release something more directly consumer oriented like that. F.e. improving the existing technology and integrating it in Apple TV.

But you can't take the Apple TV outside. So you mean something that I don't get.
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post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

But you can't take the Apple TV outside. So you mean something that I don't get.

It wouldn't be for mapping as in this case. But for interface navigation/gaming. Which was the primary function of Primesense when Apple bought it.
I see Apple further evolving those capabilities instead of trying to find a new function for it that isn't directly consumer oriented.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post


It wouldn't be for mapping as in this case. But for interface navigation/gaming. Which was its primary function of Primesense when Apple bought it.
I see Apple further evolving those capabilities instead of trying to find a new function for it that isn't directly consumer oriented.

Ah, ok, thanks for elaborating. And I would agree to your view on this.
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post #28 of 38
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
Google never declared war of any kind against Apple.

 

Uh… huh.

post #29 of 38
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post #30 of 38

I propose that this technology would be very useful to the slew of robotic companies that Google just bought. Instead of having each of them develop, or license,  a proprietary vision/3d mapping technology for navigation or object identification and location, they could just use or modify this product.

 

This would save a great deal of money, over the whole portfolio of companies, and also give them all an interoperability that could unify them.

 

I wonder what else they are working on or have that would apply generally to their robotic division. Cloud based computing would certainly apply.

post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

Personally, I'm more interested in who does it best. I'd rather be best than first. – Just my two cents.
No doubt !
post #32 of 38
And why do I fail to see the purpose of this "project"? Is it just me missing something here or is this just another google gimmick... Visually impaired people are an extremely specific market to develop for and augmented reality... seriously, come on google. So what else do they want to do with this - Kinect 3.0? I mean really, is google running out of ideas?
post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pepe779 View Post

And why do I fail to see the purpose of this "project"? Is it just me missing something here or is this just another google gimmick... Visually impaired people are an extremely specific market to develop for and augmented reality... seriously, come on google. So what else do they want to do with this - Kinect 3.0? I mean really, is google running out of ideas?

So would you rather companies not use their profits for research that could potentially yield something useful and intuitive. Everything electronic that you are using came to be from ideas sparked from other ideas, one thing leads to the next. Google isn't stupid, they have some of the most talented software and hardware engineers in the industry, if this project turns out to be a bust I am absolutely positive some of the pieces used to create it will be transferred to other projects. I for one say we need more companies doing what Google is doing, researching new ideas for the sake of knowledge and not just for the promise of future profits.

You are defiantly missing the big picture as to what kind of applications this technology could produce. Tango is just the first step into creating a complete 3D scanner of any space. Imagine a simple iKea app that will scan a room in your house, not only the dimensions of the space but also objects filling the space I.E. furniture, then inputs the data into iKea's database and rendering server, creating a 3D walk through with every detail down to that hideous chair your wife wants to burn. Then you will be able to remove any object in said virtual envinronment and replace it with any of iKea's products that matches your current decor. Then of course using your Google Glass Mark VI that now contains a FaceBook patented VR mode, you will be able to see what your new room or even entire house could look like with new furniture. Since the dimensions of the room are already in the computer, ordering things online would be a no trainer. Can you imagine the implications of this technology in fields such as interior design.

The applications for 3D mapping a space is unlimited, especially when the technology is given to the ordinary person. However since this technology is being developed by Google and not Apple you simply choose to close your mind and call it bunk. You defiantly missed something as you stated and I recommend you do a little more research. Tango is just the start of a much bigger undertaking and I have absolutely no doubt that this is the Genisis of something really wonderful.
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post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pepe779 View Post

And why do I fail to see the purpose of this "project"? Is it just me missing something here or is this just another google gimmick... Visually impaired people are an extremely specific market to develop for and augmented reality... seriously, come on google. So what else do they want to do with this - Kinect 3.0? I mean really, is google running out of ideas?

I still would rather use Google's implementation, it will/is be open-sourced and readily available to anyone. I'm not sure what Apple is doing but the list of partners who are helping in developing Tango not to mention the league of coders who have signed on to help is quite vast, I have no doubt it will be a decent endeavor.
Edited by Relic - 5/25/14 at 2:07pm
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #35 of 38

OK let me re-phrase my statements... The problem I have with this is that it is already presented in the media as some great piece of innovation, that is about to be released and thus it will leave too many people misled what this news really means. That's why I'm questioning the current value of this "project", because obviously the vast majority of people reading such news (and not only on Apple Insider) are end consumers, who want to know how will they benefit from this and if it's something that will become available in the market, what will be the price, etc. In other words - I think this news is presented to the wrong market and in a wrong way. If this is a technology that will basically only be the base for solutions used in very specific industries and will not become a mass-market product, then I don't know why I'm reading on so many sites that "Google is about to release a 3D tablet". Also, with all respect to google, they are chronically well known for abandoning their own ideas, no matter if we're talking about their countless work-in-progress ideas or the ones that actually became their products and were used by the public. So unless this actually transforms into something tangible, I take this news with a grain of salt.

post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pepe779 View Post
 

OK let me re-phrase my statements... The problem I have with this is that it is already presented in the media as some great piece of innovation, that is about to be released and thus it will leave too many people misled what this news really means. That's why I'm questioning the current value of this "project", because obviously the vast majority of people reading such news (and not only on Apple Insider) are end consumers, who want to know how will they benefit from this and if it's something that will become available in the market, what will be the price, etc. In other words - I think this news is presented to the wrong market and in a wrong way. If this is a technology that will basically only be the base for solutions used in very specific industries and will not become a mass-market product, then I don't know why I'm reading on so many sites that "Google is about to release a 3D tablet". Also, with all respect to google, they are chronically well known for abandoning their own ideas, no matter if we're talking about their countless work-in-progress ideas or the ones that actually became their products and were used by the public. So unless this actually transforms into something tangible, I take this news with a grain of salt.

I think they are missing the first point of product development.  What is the problem that this addresses?   If they aren't solving a current problem, then why are they developing it?  Too be cool?  Being cool doesn't solve a user problem.  Is a 3D GUI better and easier to use than the current 2D GUI?  I personally don't think it will be.  I think there really isn't a use for it that the mainstream tablet users really need a 3D interface.  

post #37 of 38

If some here had their way, we'd still be paying for maps and email capacity today.

 

Because hey, there's no way to monetize mapping, email, public video sharing right?

 

I love Apple's innovation.  But thank Jesus/Allah/Buddah/flying spaghetti monster, that there's companies like Google out there who seek to push the boundaries of science and engineering and worry about the shareholders later.

 

Indeed, once upon a time, before the iPhone made Apple a superultramegacorp, its leadership and fans had the same mentality too.  How unusual today to see fans worrying about Apple's stock price today rather than clamouring for raw innovation first.

post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yojimbo007 View Post

Apple has been developing a similar technology for a long time ... Lets see whos implementation hits the market first?

My guess is that this will be an area where Apple and Google can happily co-exist. While Apple is likely looking more to consumer uses Google apparently sees their 3D Project Tango development used for industrial, manufacturing, robotics and the requisite work-space mapping.
So it's actually quite possible that Google's robotics with 3D technology created from Project Tango builds Apple's consumer devices that use Apple's 3D tech at some future point. It's already likely the robotics Foxconn is integrating with one of their Apple factories is being supplied by Google.
Edited by Gatorguy - 7/13/14 at 4:41pm
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