Google’s Project Tango: On the Leading Edge of 3D Technology

Google is a brand name known for making technology both fun and available to the masses.  Its search engine changed the way the world sought information for entertainment and commercial purposes.

Aside from services, Google issues products, like its Glass Internet viewing glasses.  A recent smart phone prototype, engineered by in-house Google elite, attempts to introduce the notion of 3D technology to the masses.


Project Tango

Google, known for associating colorful names to its technological pursuits and evolutions, introduces Project Tango.  Through 3D imaging, Google wants to make a mobile device just as efficient in assessing insights of space and depth as breakthroughs in robotics and computer technology allow.

One reviewer made an analogy using one of Google’s other tools, Google Maps.  While Maps attempts to deliver a macro view of the world, in-device sensors, related to Project Tango, will provide intelligence regarding one’s immediate surroundings.

The program itself relies on sensors inside of the device that create a 3D model of the environment around it and the user. In a sense, it’s an extension of Google’s mapping project, Google Maps.


For now, Project Tango is another innovative ‘guessing game’ exacted by in-house crews made up of some of the world’s brightest and creative engineers and IT workers.  Like any business venture, Google must estimate the ‘value’ in providing consumers with the ability to leverage 3D technology.

3D technology sounds exciting, but unless implemented in a way that is either helpful or entertaining, it won’t result in much revenue production.  What can a device with a number of abilities (such as taking hundreds of measurements of its surroundings in seconds) do for the average person?  To date, consumers rove the Web, converting content using various tools such as and converse with friends. They also run into roadblocks and moral issues over the need to respect intellectual property rights when using downloaded material.

The 3D environment might just change the entire landscape, though. Will users be interested so much in others’ content when they can so easily create their own?

Using the 3D device, one could record the measurements of a room without taking out a measuring tape, for example.  Engineers assure those interested -the device will measure data other than distance; devices will sense radiation, heat, gases, etc.

Other possible uses for the technology include gaming. For example, children could use the technology to play “hide and seek” with famous cartoon characters. Adult gamers could ditch the console and start playing in dungeons that are, in fact, the real world.

For engineers, the possibilities are limitless. Users could create models of buildings in real space, and apply physics programs to model how they might react with the environment around them.

Teachers could even use the technology for in-class “live demos” of scientific principles, and take students to the far reaches of space to explore the planets in our solar system.

Limited Edition

Attending to tradition, Google is releasing a limited number of mobile 3D devices (about 200) set for a mid March release.  Engineers have spent over a year developing the mobile device that runs Android OS, with a 5-inch visual display screen, fusing elements of robotics and 3D computer vision into something small enough to hold in one’s hand.

Engineers, executives, investors, and competitors are very interested in the ‘stir’ 3D mobile devices create amid the masses; user reception dictates future production and business angles of behemoth companies such as Google.

Apple Competition

Apple is a huge competitor of Google; Google provides the world’s most-used search engine, but Apple is known for providing personable, easy-to-use, and economically priced devices for a cult-like following of consumers.  Additionally, Apple bought robotic company PrimeSense in November of 2013.  It makes ‘sense’ for Apple to heed the reception of Google’s Tango project and act accordingly.

PrimeSense is a similar technology to Google’s Tango. Whether Apple decides to implement it remains to be seen. But, usually, the company doesn’t just buy up technologies just to let them sit and rot on virtual shelves.

Plus, Apple has more to worry about regarding Google aside from robotics.  As an in-house Google representative relay, Google executives don’t get too excited about one project; there are multiple going on at once at any given time.  As mentioned above, success is contingent on consumer reception.

More people are ‘going mobile’ each quarter, making the ‘demand’ for 3D functions easy to conjure, given the right recipe for stirring the interest of unknowing consumers who have little or no experience to date with ‘robotics’ and 3D imaging.

Lara Duncan is obsessed with tech innovations. From mobile capabilities to productive apps, she enjoys writing about the trends and ideas in the technology industry.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *