Lenovo, Google Partner To Develop Project Tango Smartphone

Lenovo and Google announced a partnership Thursday to create a new smartphone that makes use of a 3D augmented reality technology known as Project Tango.

The next-generation sensors developed by the two companies were fully displayed for the first time Thursday night at the CES trade show, and Lenovo announced the first consumer device utilizing Tango will launch this summer.

The sensors and software build three-dimensional models of the environment surrounding a smartphone in real time, allowing users to access precise measurement data. The technology also presents augmented-reality-like features, with users able to see artificial creations interact with their actual environment through the phone’s camera.

Project Tango is yet another way to create the feeling of AR, as you insert animated objects into a real 3D space that you can view via special glasses or a tablet’s screen. In our demo, we used a special tablet, but you could also use something like the upcoming AR glasses.

 Augmented reality is expected to become a $120 billion market by 2020, according to tech advisor Digi-Capital. But first, companies such as Google have to build the platforms that make it possible. Google is demoing the technology this week at CES.

With Tango’s technology, the mobile device can use the sensors to detect the physical space around it, and then it can insert the animations into that 3D space. So you can hunt through your own home for those killer robots and shoot them with your smart device. Tango taps into technologies such as computer vision, image processing, and special vision sensors.