Google prototypes depth-sensing mobile phone

February 21, 2014 //By Peter Clarke
Google prototypes depth-sensing mobile phone
OmniVision, Movidius and Paracosm could benefit if Google can hone its just announced prototype depth-sensing mobile phone.

Google has announced that is has developed a prototype Android 5-inch mobile phone that includes a depth sensor alongside a motion-tracking image sensor.

The phone is the result of a one-year R&D initiative called Project Tango, and according to material at the Google website this 3D-tracking phone could provide a solution to location mapping and tracking as well as being a platform for new types of games and for robotics applications.

The company says it will hand out part of an initial build of 200 prototypes of the phone to software developers for them to develop applications on. "We want partners who will push the technology forward and build great user experiences on top of this platform," said Google on its website.

Modest image sensor but separate motion tracking and depth sensing. Source: Google

Although Google does not indicate who has provided the depth sensor it is notable that only image sensor vendor in the Project Tango partnership is OmniVision Technologies Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) Other notable partners include: inertial MEMS sensor provider Bosch; Movidius Ltd. (Dublin, Ireland) the vendor of the Myriad 1 vision processor and Paracosm (Gainsville, Florida), which offers software that converts 3D scans into computer models.

"Our goal is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion," said Johnny Chung Lee, project leader fro Project Tango at Advanced Technology & Projects at Google.

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