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June 27, 2014

LG gets to work on consumer version of Google’s 3D tablet

Project Tango will be ready for the general public by 2015.

By Ben Sullivan

LG is working on a consumer version of Google’s Project Tango 3D tablet.

The tablet was originally developed by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group, a lab that researches future technology for Google.

The tablet can capture three-dimensional images and would aid designers and developers in visualising their projects. LG wants to consumer version to be ready for the general public by 2015. The tablet will also be integrated with Unity, a mobile video game developing platform.

Google said: "As we walk through our daily lives, we use visual cues to navigate and understand the world around us. We observe the size and shape of objects and rooms, and we learn their position and layout almost effortlessly over time. This awareness of space and motion is fundamental to the way we interact with our environment and each other. We are physical beings that live in a 3D world. Yet, our mobile devices assume that physical world ends at the boundaries of the screen.

"The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion."

There are currently only a few thousand Project Tango tablets in production, as Google is trialing the platform with a handful of developers. The tablet uses multiple cameras and sensors to capture its surroundings.

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At this week’s Google IO developers’ conference, a Project Tango boss Johnny Lee demonstrated how a colleague walked around a building with the tablet as it tracked the user’s journet, mapping it in 3D.

"Imagine if the directions to your destination didn’t stop at the front door, but to tell you exactly where to go and what to do," he said.

"The compute is here. The compute is genuinely here to do amazing things with our devices. What’s missing is the hardware and the software."

Last week, Amazon revealed its Fire phone, a mobile device that can display in 3D. Running Amazon’s Android-based Fire OS 3.5, the device features a 4.7in screen capable of displaying 3D images and a 13MP rear camera with optical image stabilisation which Amazon boss Jeff Bezos said will take better photos than its competitors no matter the situation.

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