New Google 3-D Tango Smartphone Could Change Business Computing


Google's prototype Tango smartphone with groundbreaking 3-D mapping technology could have a major impact across all professional markets, opening the door to new innovative business applications.

That's the word from solution providers on Google's Project Tango smartphone, which features 3-D mapping technology that can effectively map 3-D space. Solution providers said the trailblazing mapping technology will have a major impact across all professional markets and generally change the way we work.

Teardown experts at IFIXIT.com got their hands on a prototype of the Project Tango phone and found the heart of the phone's technology centers around its Myriad 1 vision processor, which can deliver one teraflop of computing power for motion tracking and 3-D mapping with minimal drain to the handset's battery.

[Related: Partners Cheer Confirmed Launch Of Samsung Tizen Android Competitor ]

Google says the Tango prototype phone can measure more than a quarter million 3-D measurements a second, and combine them into a real-time 3-D model.

Business applications, said Allen Falcon, CEO of Cumulus Global, a Westborough, Mass.-based Google solution provider, are limitless. "Initial interest will be with techies," said Falcon. "But the real impact will be in the business world."

Applications include computational imaging, advanced facial recognition and 3-D scanning for modeling and 3-D printers.

Falcon believes the handheld 3-D imaging technology has immense potential not only for law enforcement and classroom teachers but for doctors and surveyors as well. "[Google] is expanding the role of the smartphone," Falcon said.

IFIXIT.com's Tango teardown also revealed the phone is stocked with four different cameras, including one with a 120-degree field of vision, and another with an infrared sensor for 3-D sensing.

Jeff Kagan, an independent technology analyst based in Marietta, Ga., credits Google for pushing the technology envelope but cautioned that it remains to be seen whether it will be successful with a 3-D mapping phone.

"They're not just a search engine anymore," he said. "Google is so much more. Tomorrow looks much different than yesterday. Some of these things will really take off and change the world, and some of them won't."

The Tango Platform prototype phone was developed as part of Google-owned Motorola's Advanced Technology and Platforms group. Google is using the phone as a proof-of-concept and to generate interest among developers to build applications for the platform. It's unclear whether the Tango technology may someday be bundled inside of an upcoming smartphone or will be part of a specialized handset.

Google did not return calls seeking comment.

Falcon said, "Given our focus on the business application, for us it keeps Google in the forefront from the technology standpoint. There are all sorts of uses of 3-D technology. It could be pretty interesting."

PUBLISHED APRIL 16, 2014