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During a session at its I/O developer conference today, Google announced that it’s partnering with LG to build a tablet that’s part of its Project Tango program to release to consumers next year. Google earlier this month announced that it was releasing a prototype Tango tablet, but only for developers. The version made by LG will be intended for consumers, and presumably, cheaper than the $1024 developer version.

Google talked in depth about how much potential Project Tango has for real world adoption, but noted that the hardware and software is what’s missing. The compute and actual technology is there, but implementing it is harder. Some of the potential includes things such as mapping your house, virtual reality games, playing games that involve physical movement by you, and much more.

“Imagine if the directions to your destination didn’t stop at the front door, but to tell you exactly where to go and what to do,” the company said during the session. “The compute is here. The compute is genuinely here to do amazing things with our devices. What’s missing is the hardware and the software.

Details on the LG-made consumer Tango tablet are still incredibly sparse and all we know is that it will be available next year.

During the same session, Google also shared details about its modular phone venture, Project Ara. For the first time ever, Google showed us a functional (sort of) prototype and turned it on for all to see. The device would boot up, but then immediately freeze, so while not the most exciting demo, it certainly showed that Google has made a ton of progress with Ara.

The company also announced a challenge for developers interested in Project Ara. Anyone who develops a working module that lets people do something with their phone that can’t be done now will be awarded $100,000 prize. The module must be fully developed, and functional to win.

Google talked at length about the struggles that it’s facing with Ara, as well, but noted that the company is working extensively to resolve the issues. They also talked about the potential of Ara, including the ability have a module that’s a key fob for your car.

The company hopes to release a developer preview device this fall.

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Chance Miller


Chance currently writes for both 9to5Google and 9to5Mac, in addition to 9to5Toys.