[TechRadar] UPDATED: Project Tango: everything you need to know
UPDATED: Project Tango: everything you need to know

<img src="http://cdn.mos.techradar.com/art/tablets/Google/Project%20Tango/Google%20Project%20Tango%20demo/Google%20Project%20Tango%204-470-75.jpg" alt="UPDATED: Project Tango: everything you need to know"/><p>You may have heard the words <a href="http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/tablets/project-tango-1287506/review">Project Tango</a> said together over the last few years, but never fully understood what it means. Let's give you better directions.</p><p>Tango is a new technology made by Google to help your smartphone or tablet detect where exactly it is in a room without having to use GPS or other outside signals.</p><p>It may not sound like the most revolutionary technology, but it may be a game changer for the way we navigate around the world and open up indoor navigation on mobile devices for the very first time.</p><p>Even NASA has tested out the technology at the International Space Station, on autonomous robots that sometimes travel outside of the space ships and everything.</p><ul> <li><a href="http://www.techradar.com/news/mobile-computing/tablets/google-just-made-the-tablet-the-ultimate-museum-piece-1315796">How Project Tango works in a museum</a></li> </ul><h3>Cut to the chase</h3><ul><li><strong>What is it?</strong> A brand new room scanning technology</li><li><strong>When is it out?</strong> Out now for developers, Summer 2016 for phones</li><li><strong>What will it cost?</strong> Nothing – it will be part of your smartphone or tablet</li></ul><h3>Project Tango: what does it do?</h3><p>Project Tango is a new way of identifying where your phone is without using GPS technology or any other external signals. It's all done by your phone itself, using sensors paired with the Tango specific camera on your phone.</p><p><img src="http://mos.futurenet.com/techradar/art/tablets/Google/Project%20Tango/Hands-on%202/Dev-kit-420-90.jpg" alt="Project Tango" width="420"></img></p><p>It means indoor navigation is now possible on a phone or tablet – something we've never seen done of mobile devices. Google Maps could really be everywhere soon.</p><p>It'll also make 3D mapping easier than ever before as well as measuring up physical spaces. On top of that it will be a big step in the right direction for augmented reality and 3D worlds.</p><h3>Project Tango: how does it work?</h3><p>Three types of technology are used to make Project Tango and the first is motion-tracking. It'll use the camera to track the visuals of the environment as well as the accelerometer and gyroscope data to track where you are in a room.</p><p>If you move, Project Tango will know where and how you've moved.</p><p>Second is area learning, where Project Tango will take information it has had in the past and enhance it with other elements such as notes or points of interest in a location.</p><p>Then there's depth perception as well to track how far away surfaces are. All of these then combine to make a 3D image of the environment you're in.</p><h3>Project Tango: why should you care?</h3><p>Developers can use this technology to great effect. For example, an app could track the size of the room you're standing in and put potential renovations on top of your home through augmented reality so you can see it before it happens.</p><p><img src="http://mos.futurenet.com/techradar/art/tablets/Google/Project%20Tango/Hands-on%202/header-420-90.jpg" alt="Project Tango" width="420"></img></p><p>That's tech we've seen before – but with the use of Tango it can track where you are and move with you.</p><p>Developers working with Tango could also create an app to help you navigate around a shop. Struggle to find the baked beans? Which aisle was that again? Whip your phone out, boot up the supermarket app and it'll direct you right to where you need to be.</p><p>It could even help for gaming with endless augmented reality possibilities. Take Pokemon Go, for example, and if the app included Project Tango it could do even more than it already will.</p><p>Right now, we're seeing a bunch of familiar games demoed: AR Jenga puts the haphazardly stacked wooden blocks on a table while you pull one out at a time from thin air (all of the fun none of the mess). </p><p><img src="http://cdn.mos.techradar.com/art/mobile_phones/Google/Project%20Tango/lenovo/google-project-tango-phone-news-420-100.jpg" alt="Project Tango" width="420"></img></p><p>Bridge the AR gap, there's also a way to strap Tango tablet to a very real oversized nerf gun in order to shoot fictitious aliens. There's even a demon in which you can pet a cat that prances around your multi-level room (knowing the table, floor and chairs)</p><p>Apps would even be able to help the visually impaired navigate around indoors. It all comes down to what developers decide to do with the technology.</p><p>We've already seen the technology being used in a museum in Barcelona, which allowed us to navigate around easily and see the key points. Plus the AR elements on top of exhibits meant we learnt even more about what we were seeing.</p><ul><li><a href="http://www.techradar.com/news/mobile-computing/tablets/google-just-made-the-tablet-the-ultimate-museum-piece-1315796">Learn more about how Project Tango works in a museum</a></li></ul><h3>Project Tango: can I get it on my phone?</h3><p>Not yet, but it won't be long. Google has already released two devices with Project Tango technology on board but both have been designed solely for software developers.</p><p>First was the Peanut phone, which has since gone off sale, and there is also the Yellowstone tablet with the tech included.</p><p>Lenovo has also announced an official partnership with Google to create the first Project Tango toting consumer device. That will be released in summer 2016, and it looks to be the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro.</p><p>Rumors point toward it being announced at the Lenovo Tech World conference, which kicks off on June 10. Maybe we'll see it officially unveiled at the press conference.</p><p><img src="http://mos.futurenet.com/techradar/art/mobile_phones/Lenovo/Phab-2-Pro-420-90.jpg" alt="Lenovo" width="420"></img></p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/stagueve/status/740250148752785408">Leaks</a> of that phone suggests it will have a 6.4-inch display as well as 3 separate cameras on the back to allow Project Tango to work.</p><p>The phone will likely be released in the next couple of months but it's going to take developers some extra time to start making apps that are ready for the tech.</p><ul><li><a href="http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/new-nexus-2016-1320749">All the rumors about Google's Nexus 2016 phones</a></li></ul><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techradar/allnews/~4/T5A8AxkISTE" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>


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