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Brief Published: 25 Feb 2014

Google’s 3D-Mapping Smartphone

Google's Project Tango

US-based internet giant Google has unveiled a prototype of a 3D-mapping smartphone dubbed Project Tango. Using customised hardware and software, sensors enable the 5-inch prototype to make more than 250,000 3D measurements a second, allowing it to map its surroundings in real time.

Over the past 12 months, Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (Atap) unit has been quietly working with international research labs, universities and industrial partners to develop the prototype. Potential applications for the technology include indoor mapping, helping the visually impaired navigate unfamiliar environments, and augmented-reality gaming. 

Atap’s website states: "The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion… Now we're ready to put early prototypes into the hands of developers that can imagine the possibilities and help bring those ideas into reality."

To find out more about how the prototype works, watch this video. For more on how mapping technologies could help retailers target consumers, see Data Tracking & Response Monitoring, part of the Future of the Store Industry Trend.