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June 6, 2014

Google announces 3D-mapping tablet

Project Tango will help developers create apps in 3D.

By Ben Sullivan

Google has unveiled its latest device, a 7-inch tablet that can map environments in 3D.

Dubbed Project Tango, the device was initially going to be a phone but it has now been announced that it will be a tablet.

The device will allow developers to test new 3D programs, paving the way for DIY-style gaming and retail apps.

The device will go on sale later this year for a price of $1,024, and will not be targeted at consumers.

Google is best known in the devices world for its Android operating system and Nexus smartphone and tablet devices. This expansion into the 3D market comes as other firms race to capitalise on 3D mobile technology.

Yesterday, Amazon announced it will be revealing a device on June 18 which many speculate to be a 3D holographic-enabled phone.

It has been reported that the phone can create 3D images without the need for 3D glasses, as it can track the user’s eyes and project a stereo image accordingly.

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The product would be Amazon’s first step into the smartphone market, after rolling out a successful tablet line over recent years.

Earlier this year, Facebook splashed $2bn on virtual-reality headset maker Oculus VR. Its device, the Oculus Rift, is seen as the next platform for social media and gaming by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

On the website for the new tablet, Google said: "The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.

"Project Tango devices contain customized hardware and software designed to track the full 3D motion of the device, while simultaneously creating a map of the environment."

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