Two years to Tango: the race to finish Google’s 3D-mapping tablet

Speck Design's clientele has ranged from Apple to Samsonite to Fisher-Price in its history, and now it can add Google to the list of high-profile companies. But Google -- or its Advanced Technologies and Projects (ATAP) division, to be more specific -- is no ordinary client. The group is modeled after DARPA, which divides its agency into teams, with each one given a limited time to solve a pressing issue. Nearly a year and half ago, ATAP reached out to Speck, led by industrial designers Jason Stone and Vincent Pascual, with one such task: Build a tablet like no other.

The project is known as Tango. Its goal is to create technology that lets you use mobile devices to piece together three-dimensional maps, thanks to a clever array of cameras, depth sensors and fancy algorithms. As if that isn't enough of a challenge, Tango's team only has two full years to make this tech a reality. Those two years will be up in less than five months.

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LG partners with Google’s Project Tango to make consumer product next year

Google's Advanced Technology and Projects division has been hard at work on its 3D-mapping project, known as Tango, since early 2013. In this time, we've seen the team rapidly progress its efforts by introducing a smartphone and tablet specifically for developers to construct their own apps that take advantage of the cameras and sensors inside. That said, we weren't expecting to hear about a consumer-facing Tango product for quite a while, so it came as a surprise when Google announced that it's working with LG on a device that will be available to the public sometime next year. There were no details about whether this product will be a smartphone, tablet or neither, but the partnership is likely still in the early stages.

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Google’s secretive 3D-mapping project now has a tablet: here it is

Comprehending the world around us is something we humans take for granted, but it's not so easy for our technology. Sure, autonomous robots and military-grade research labs have hardware that can approximate the same visual acuity of human eyes, but Google's Advanced Technologies and Projects (ATAP) division started Project Tango to bring that sort of tech to the masses. Its mission is to make mobile devices capable of using depth sensors and high-spec cameras to craft three-dimensional maps more cheaply and easily than other current efforts. ATAP announced its first piece of hardware in February, a prototype smartphone equipped with Kinect-like 3D sensors and other components, but the team is now expanding the project to a new form factor: a seven-inch tablet that's packed with a lot more power.

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Project Tango teardown reveals the wonders of the phone’s 3D sensing tech

Project Tango's infrared projector in action

Want to get a better understanding of Google's 3D-sensing Project Tango smartphone beyond the usual promo videos? iFixit is more than happy to show you now that it has torn down the device for itself. The close-up identifies many of the depth mapping components in the experimental handset, including the infrared and fisheye cameras (both made by OmniVision), motion tracking (from InvenSense) and dual vision processors (from Movidius).

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Source: iFixit

You’ve Been Tangoed, now in 3D – Google unveils Project Tango prototype

proj-tang1
Google’s interest in consumer-led 3D technology has always been eminent, and initiatives like homebrew Street View have, up until now, been the limits of their goal.

Today, however, Google has announced a new idea that puts their dream one step closer: Project Tango. The goal of Project Tango is to extend the reach of mobile smart devices beyond the touch screen – to use their words, to “give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion”.

The plan is simple: give 200 developers a prototype device packed full of 3D sensing tech, and let them loose building awesome things. These devices, naturally, run Android, and at the moment APIs have been exposed for Java, C/C++, as well as Unity (so UnityScript/JS will also run on the device). Unity is an interesting inclusion – it shows Google are aware of the effect 3D sensing could have on gaming.

Google has allocated devices so far for indoor navigation & mapping, new ways of processing the raw data returned from device sensors, and games that make use of physical space. They’re also open to any ideas that don’t fall into these categories. All the devices should, in theory, be distributed by the 15th of March.

If you’re a developer, head over to the Project Tango website to submit an idea. If not, then sit tight and wait for the first few projects for this new piece of hardware to be shown off.

Source: Google

You’ve Been Tangoed, now in 3D – Google unveils Project Tango prototype is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

Revolutionary Spotify-Tango collaboration takes messaging app platforms in a whole new direction

Spotify Tango Collaboration
Tango and Spotify are kicking off a collaboration aimed at offering a new music sharing opportunity for Tango messaging app users. Anyone using Tango can get access to 30 second clips of any Spotify song — and then share them with their friends. People can access full-length songs via the music service. Spotify has 24 million active users and according to Tango's Eric Setton, the company's messaging app has now hit 60 million monthly active users globally.

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Tango – you’ve been Tangoed [News and Opinion]

syrian-electronic-army

Popular video and text messaging app Tango has been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army. You remember the SEA, they’re the ones who hacked the Sky apps so you couldn’t control your Sky Plus box from your garden. We reported earlier that Viber – an app for making free calls, text messages, photo and location sharing – had been hacked by the rascals too.

The SEA have been busy, because they’ve also been contact harvesting from Tango. They say they’ve gathered “millions” of user account details and 1.5TB of data. Tango confirmed the attack, but not the data loss, in a tweet:

Tango experienced a cyber intrusion that resulted in unauthorized access to some data. We are working on increasing our security systems.

The vulnerability is said to have stemmed from an out of date WordPress plugin on their site. Better tell Leigh…

So, Viber and Tango users have potentially lost their account details, much like millions of Sony customers a while back, but what do they want from these users? Do they really want to chat to your Aunt Betty in New Zealand for free? No, of course not, but equally I don’t think they’ve got any intentions of using them in any way.

This is a show of force, a sort of twisted publicity stunt, because the Syrian Electronic Army is bringing attention to social issues in Syria by talking to their wider enemies using the communication devices in our pockets.

Now, I’m not a Syrian government sympathiser, nor do I endorse hacking in any way, but this is a political attack by people – maybe even the Syrian government – who approve of mass censorship to cover up far worse crimes than snooping into peoples’ emails.

No. If you’re a Tango or Viber account holder anywhere other than Syria then change your passwords and contact the companies for what to do next, but don’t loose sleep over your personal details, the SEA don’t even care who you are.

This does open the age old can of worms that shows no matter how careful you are with your security, if the companies you entrust your data to are insecure you are too. And that’s a whole other article.

Tango – you’ve been Tangoed [News and Opinion] is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE update to bring global roaming, Isis wallet

HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE update to bring global roaming and Isis wallet

HTC's Droid Incredible 4G LTE gave us a pleasant surprise by providing a capable Android phone that didn't have to be supersized. It's gone largely untouched since its mid-year introduction, though, which makes a new and imminent update all the more important. The upgrade's biggest trick is support for Isis mobile payments that more officially throws Verizon's hat into the NFC payment ring. Anyone living beyond Isis' coverage will still want to check for the update when it's ready -- the patch switches on global roaming, allows remote technical support, makes Tango video chats useful and improves LTE connection quality. No matter what you're looking for, Verizon's tendency to start over-the-air updates within days of posting documentation leaves a likely short wait before the most recent Droid Incredible gets a breath of fresh air.

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HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE update to bring global roaming, Isis wallet originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Refresh Roundup: week of August 13th, 2012

Refresh Roundup week of August 13th, 2012

Your smartphone and / or tablet is just begging for an update. From time to time, these mobile devices are blessed with maintenance refreshes, bug fixes, custom ROMs and anything in between, and so many of them are floating around that it's easy for a sizable chunk to get lost in the mix. To make sure they don't escape without notice, we've gathered every possible update, hack, and other miscellaneous tomfoolery we could find during the last week and crammed them into one convenient roundup. If you find something available for your device, please give us a shout at tips at engadget dawt com and let us know. Enjoy!

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Refresh Roundup: week of August 13th, 2012 originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 19 Aug 2012 20:21:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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HTC Trophy for Verizon prepares to Tango as soon as tomorrow

HTC Trophy for Verizon prepares to Tango as soon as tomorrow

Stage fright is a problem for many, and perhaps it's for that reason that the HTC Trophy has yet to show us its interpretation of the Tango. We've received a bit of good news, however, as Verizon's own documentation reveals the update is on the way. Meanwhile, a leaked tidbit courtesy of AndroidGuys suggests that we may see the refresh come as soon as tomorrow. Whether the specific date pans out remains to be seen, but whenever Tango actually arrives, it'll bring newfound WiFi hotspot functionality, multi-picture and video MMS attachments, and the ability to send / receive ringtones. As for that little blurb about the Trophy catching a piece of Apollo... well, let's just chalk that up to codename confusion.

Continue reading HTC Trophy for Verizon prepares to Tango as soon as tomorrow

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HTC Trophy for Verizon prepares to Tango as soon as tomorrow originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 31 Jul 2012 22:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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