Google’s reality-scanning Project Tango experiment was huge technological achievement right from the get-go, showing us what was possible when we combined the latest mobile hardware with 3D-mapping cameras. The Tango developer tablet’s sensors would assemble a 3D map of the room around you as quick and easily as regular phone can snap a 2D pic – and while it was all incredibly cool, it was still very much a work in progress, not quite ready for its commercial debut. Back in 2014, we learned from Google that there was a 2015 target for the launch of such a polished, ready-for-the-general-public Tango device. Things have taken a little longer than planned, but the first commercial Tango hardware is nearly here, as tonight at CES 2016 Lenovo announces a Tango smartphone.
Lenovo’s still working out a lot of the details, but it was able to share some key specs of its Tango phone. Look for the handset to come in somewhere in the lower-six-inch space, be powered by a Snapdragon SoC, and feature a trio of Tango-enabling sensors: those include a traditional camera, a depth sensor, and a wide-angle lens. All that tech demands some special design considerations, and Lenovo intends to give its phone a mechanical heat-dissipation solution to help keep those components cool.
The Tango phone – and no, that’s probably not the name the phone will launch under – will sell in markets around the world, including the US. Lenovo has yet to set the final price, but says that we should see it arrive for under $500. Development work is set to conclude this summer, so chances are we’ll be hearing more about sales plans in just a few months.
What will you do with a Project Tango smartphone? There’s a ton of potential here, from augmented-reality gaming, to planning your next furniture purchase – while getting to see just where everything would fit before you even head to the store. That’s not even touching on use-cases related to navigation, and Tango could very well revolutionize how we find our way around indoors in much the same way GPS has become an essential tool for plotting courses outside.
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