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The Smartphone That Sees Like You Do

on Friday, Feb. 21st

Smartphones are about to get a whole lot smarter thanks to Google’s latest experiment dubbed “Project Tango.”

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?

Announced in a blog post and on Techcrunch yesterday, there is already footage of a room that was mapped using the phone prototype. The project lead, who can be seen in this video, is engineer Johnny Lee who previously worked on Microsoft’s Kinect, which did for the living room what Tango aims to do for everywhere.

We are hurtling at break neck speed towards a future where the line between “meatspace” and “cyberspace”–to use the 90s terms–are blurred to the point of invisibility. Smart-devices are having their awareness expanded daily, and the vision of the Internet of Things is to connect everything imaginable to the cloud. It all makes me wonder how long it will be until Animism makes a play to be the next big religious fad.

Google is currently accepting applications for designers and engineers who want to get their hands on one of the 200 prototypes they have made. They expect to have them all allocated by March 14th.

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