Google unveils 3D capable smartphone

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Smartphones with 3D sensors

Google has unveiled its plans to develop smartphones with 3D capability.

Early prototypes of the devices have already been created. The smartphone at present is a five inch handset that runs Android. It also comes with customised hardware and software, which can track full 3D motion and create a map of a user's surroundings.

The sensors within the prototypes allow the smartphone to make over a quarter of a million 3D measurements every second. They also enable the device to update its position and orientation in real-time, creating a 3D model of the area around the user.

Project Tango launched by Google

The 3D capable smartphone is being built by the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) unit at Google. It is being created as part of Project Tango, a scheme with the aim of giving "mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion."

Leader of Project Tango Johnny Lee said: "Over the past year, our team has been working with universities, research labs, and industrial partners spanning nine countries around the world to harvest research from the last decade of work in robotics and computer vision, concentrating that technology into a unique mobile phone."

200 prototypes have been created so far, which have been given to developers to explore indoor navigation and mapping, games using physical space and a number of unknown applications.

Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword, said: "Google is working on a number of other innovative technologies, including the self driving car and Google Glass. These inventions provide the company with an opportunity to create a buzz and also drive demand once the products have been fully developed."