Google unveils 3D smartphone platform that can help blind people navigate

Google has unveiled a prototype smartphone with 3D sensors that creates 3D map of a user’s surroundings.

The phone is expected come with features like indoor mapping that can help visually-impaired people to travel without assistance.

Part of its project called “Project Tango”, the phone can make 250,000 “3D measurements” every second.

“We are physical beings that live in a 3D world. Yet, our mobile devices assume that physical world ends at the boundaries of the screen,” Google said.

“The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.

“We’re ready to put early prototypes into the hands of developers that can imagine the possibilities and help bring those ideas into reality,” it added.

Google is offering 200 prototypes to developers keen to make apps for it. Interested? You can apply here.

Here’s what you can do with a 3D phone, according to Google:

“What if you could capture the dimensions of your home simply by walking around with your phone before you went furniture shopping? What if directions to a new location didn’t stop at the street address? What if you never again found yourself lost in a new building? What if the visually-impaired could navigate unassisted in unfamiliar indoor places? What if you could search for a product and see where the exact shelf is located in a super-store?

“Imagine playing hide-and-seek in your house with your favorite game character, or transforming the hallways into a tree-lined path. Imagine competing against a friend for control over territories in your home with your own miniature army, or hiding secret virtual treasures in physical places around the world?”


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