Google and Apple rivalry is not hidden from anyone. However, it seems incredible that, for Project Tango, Google has chosen a chip created by PrimeSense—the company which was acquired by Apple, a year ago.
This was discovered by iFixit, who managed to get their hands on Project Tango and after, a complete dissection, noted that half of the technology – PS1200 SoC 3D imaging chip—is gained from its direct competitor, PrimeSense.
It is worth mentioning that Apple purchased PrimeSense— a hardware manufacturer that helped Kinect to get 3D vision—for $360 million. At that time, it was thought that Apple would introduce this technology in its future iOS devices with the aim of mapping the 3D space but it seems Project Tango has defeated Apple with its own technology.
Google’s Project Tango smartphone, is one of the first mobile device that is using 3D sensor chip and also gives a glimpse of Apple’s intentions with the technology. Project Tango is essentially a three-dimensional mapping tool that captures the environment around the user and is able to provide directions, dimensions and maps. Google also intends to use this for creating immersive augmented reality games and innovative applications that combine the digital world with the real one.
According to iFixit, Tango works similarly to Kinect, which has also used the technology created by PrimeSense. The Project Tango is described as “an array of cameras and sensors that run on an Android phone”. The prototype boasts Snapdragon 800 quad core (up to 2.3 GHz per core) CPU with 2 GB LPDDR3 RAM, 64 GB internal storage, expandable by microSD, 5-inch LCD screen, 9-axis accelerometer/gyroscope/compass, and of course, the depth-sensing array: an infrared projector, 4 MP rear-facing RGB/IR camera and 180 degree field of view fisheye rear-facing camera along with a 3000 mAh battery.
The Mountain View Company announced Project Tango in February, as an attempt to create a mobile device unlike like any other, a mobile device that shares our sense of space and movement that understands and perceives the world the same way we do. However, Project Tango shows that the PrimeSense 3D chips are now ready to be integrated into mobile devices, and it is likely that they would be a part of next iPhone and iPad or even Apple TV.
Apart from Project Tango, Google is also working on Project Ara-first modular smartphone. Project Tango doesn’t have a precise release but future of smartphones seems promising.