According to a recent report, Google is designing a 3D-capable tablet for distribution. The tablet will be able to capture and display three-dimensional images of any object around it. The Wall Street Journal reported that the device is still in the works, but 4,000 of the gizmos could be given to tech developers “soon.” The tablet reportedly would contain a seven-inch screen, multiple infrared depth sensors, two back cameras, and state-of-the-art software to capture 3D images. The Wall Street Journal also hypothesized that the tablet could be utilized to engender step-by-step directions for retail consumers, improve navigation for the visually impaired, and create more immersive and entertaining video games.
The designing of the 3D-capable tablet is part of Google’s Project Tango, which pertains to the Advanced Technology and Projects group. Tango released a smartphone that can create 3D maps and distributed 200 of them to developers. The advertising and searching company has been collaborating with top talent universities, companies in nine different countries, and research labs to create the 3D-environment tablet and smartphone. The tablet tracks the motion of the user while generating a 3D map of the encompassing environment. According to Google, the tablet and smartphone makes over 250,000 3D measurements every second, effectively updating position in real time. The annual developers conference for the company is scheduled for June, and it is speculated that the tablet (along with other technologies) will be available for developers to “play around with.”
A representative from Google, Johnny Chung Lee, stated that the goal for Project Tango is to give mobile technology the understanding of all the complexities of the real world. The 3D technology, according to the report, will also be able to map environments that would have normally taken months or years to do with conventional methods. Lee also said that they have only just begun, his division could not be more excited to further this project, and once completed, the possibilities are endless. The companies involved with the creation of this technology include BSquare, CompalComm, ETH Zurich, Bosch, Flyby, DOF hiDof, MMSolutions, Movidius, JPL, OLogic, Sunny Optical Technology, OmniVision, Paracosm, and Open Source Robotics. The software development company stated that they were met with immense support from these companies, and attributes the support to their “belief in the project.”
Google is not the only Internet company that is designing and developing 3D technology. Silicon Valley staple Facebook purchased the 3D technology device Oculus Rift. CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that they are preparing “for the platforms of tomorrow.” He complimented Oculus Rift by stating that the device has the potential to create the “most social platform ever,” and revolutionize the way people communicate and play. Brendan Iribe, co-founder and CEO of Oculus Rift, stated that he is excited to work with Facebook, and that he and his company believe that virtual reality will transform social experience and connect people in “magical ways.” Tech enthusiasts are excited that the acceptance and competition of 3D technology by Internet companies like Google and Facebook are increasing, with the companies estimating that developers conferences this year will have the highest attendance.
By Andres Loubriel