Google Project Tango prototype features Apple-owned technology: iFixit

google project tango youtubeGoogle in February announced a new research project aimed at bringing 3D vision technology to smartphones, dubbed Project Tango.

The Mountain View giant also confirmed that with ‘Project Tango’, it would provide reference prototypes of its new smartphone to outside developers to encourage the writing of new applications. However, the company did not reveal many details about the smartphone at the launch.

iFixit, the company that publishes free online repair guides for consumer electronics, got its hands on Google’s yet-to-be-launched reference smartphone. After stripping Google’s newest Tango Project handset down to the core, the gadget gurus report that the device uses PrimeSense’s new Capri PS1200 SoC 3D imaging chip.

Notably, Apple completed the acquisition of PrimeSense, an Israeli maker of chips that allows three-dimensional (3D) machine vision, for a reported fee of $360 million in November last year.

It’s worth mentioning that PrimeSense’s computer vision technology gives digital devices the ability to observe a scene in three dimensions, and was used to help power the original Kinect in Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console when the technology made its debut.

An earlier report also suggested that PrimeSense makes more sensor-based devices that are more compact, and could be used in smaller devices including smartphones. The report speculated that Apple could also theoretically employ this technology in the next version of Apple TV or even in the iPhone.

Some specifications revealed by the iFixit teardown of Project Tango handset include a Snapdragon 800 quad-core (up to 2.3GHz) processor with 2GB RAM; 64GB of inbuilt storage, expandable by microSD; a 5-inch LCD display, and 9-axis accelerometer/gyroscope/compass.

On the optics front, the Project Tango is said to sport a 4-megapixel RGB/IR camera boasting 180 degree field of view fisheye rear-facing camera.


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