Google Readies 3D Tablet Kits for Project Tango Developers

The kits, which include an early version of a Project Tango 3D tablet, will give serious developers a chance to create apps for the nascent devices.

Project Tango

Google is looking for the right software developers to build applications for the company's early 3D Project Tango tablet devices as they are refined, explored and enhanced with new features.

To make that happen, Google is making available a restricted quantity of Project Tango Development Kits that it is selling for $1,024 to serious developers that it deems will help move the project forward.

The development kits, which include an early version of a 3D tablet, were announced in a June 5 post by the Google ATAP team on the group's Google+ page.

"Today, developers excited about Project Tango can start building using the Project Tango Tablet Development Kit," the post states. "Created in close collaboration with NVIDIA, the development kit includes the new Tegra K1 mobile processor to create a platform designed for computer vision and 3D sensing. You can use the Project Tango Tablet Development Kit to make applications that track full 3-dimensional motion and capture surfaces in the environment."

Also included in each kit's 7-inch tablet, according to an update on the Project Tango Website, is 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a motion-tracking camera, integrated depth sensing, WiFi, BTLE and 4G LTE. "These development kits are designed for professional developers interested in exploring the future of mobile 3D sensing," the site states. "Developers will receive updates as the software algorithms and APIs evolve. These development kits are not a consumer device and will be available in limited quantities. "

Developers who are interested in purchasing one of the early test bed devices for app development can sign up on the site to be notified when the Project Tango Tablet Development Kit goes on sale later this year.

The development kits are part of Google's Project Tango program, which was launched in February 2014 by Google's ATAP group as an initiative to compress current understandings about robotics and computer vision into a mobile phone, according to an earlier eWEEK report.

The first rumors of a Project Tango 3D tablet emerged in May, according to an earlier eWEEK report. Google is working to create some 4,000 prototypes of advanced mobile tablet devices equipped with features that will allow users to view complex 3D objects on their screens.

The first Project Tango initiative since it began in February was the creation of a mobile phone with highly customized hardware and software designed to track the phone's motion in full 3D, in real time, while it is being held by a user. The phone included a 5-inch display, a 4-megapixel camera at the top rear of the phone, 2x computer vision processors, integrated depth sensing and a motion-tracking camera on the bottom of the back of the phone.