Google Readies 3D Tablet Kits for Project Tango Developers
Such a phone could be used, according to Project Tango, with apps that use the camera to offer guidance to the visually impaired or even apps that use the camera to show shoppers how the furniture in a catalog would literally fit in their living rooms. Other potential apps could even scan a room in a home to create a virtual game world within it, or offer directions that don't stop at the front door of an office building. The idea of Project Tango is to allow people to interact with their environments in the future in ways that are very different from today. Google is often working on cutting-edge ideas for future projects, including its expanding efforts with its eyewear-mounted Google Glass devices. In May, Google announced that anyone in the United States can now buy a beta version Glass device as long as the company has them in stock. The Glass devices, which sell for $1,500 plus taxes, can be configured and ordered at the Glass Website, according to Google. Several options and add-ons can raise the price of the devices. Google Glass has been a topic of conversation among techies since news of it first surfaced in 2012. The first Google Glass units began shipping in April 2013 to developers who signed up at the June 2012 Google I/O developers conference to buy an early set for $1,500 for testing and development; the new technology was the hit of the conference. Google also then began shipping Glass units to lucky users who were given the privilege to buy their own early versions of Glass.Another futuristic project being pursued by Google is its Project Loon experiment that began in 2013, according to earlier eWEEK reports. Project Loon uses a series of high-altitude balloons to build a high-speed Internet network that could be used to bring affordable Internet service to far-flung locations around the world for the first time, according to Google. The experiment is being touted as a high-tech way to create Internet connections for two-thirds of the people in the world who currently don't have Internet access due to high costs and the difficulty of stringing connections in rural and far-flung parts of the world. The Loon concepts were first tested in June 2013 in an experimental pilot project in Christchurch and Canterbury in New Zealand, where 50 volunteer testers worked to connect with the balloons high above, according to Google. The New Zealand pilot tests showed that the concept could work and confirmed that balloon-powered Internet may be a viable approach.
Each Google Glass device includes adjustable nose pads and a high-resolution display that Google said is the equivalent of a 25-inch high-definition screen from 8 feet away. The glasses also feature a built-in camera that takes 5-megapixel photos and video at 720p. Audio is delivered to wearers through their bones, using bone-conduction transducers.