Google and Intel have developed what looks like the ultimate augmented reality smartphone, combining Google’s Project Tango tech to map and track 3D environments with Intel’s RealSense camera sensor, which isolates and scans 3D objects within those environments.

Engadget reports that the two companies have so far produced a developer prototype of the smartphone, with a consumer device expected to be released further down the line. While there will doubtless be serious applications for the technology, it’s augmented reality gaming that is likely to get the most attention … 

He showed us a cube stacking demo, where he could create virtual walls and barriers overlaid atop the real-world environment — sort of like an augmented reality Minecraft, if you will. Another demo […] was able to recreate objects around the room, and then throw balls at them.

Last but not least, the Intel spokesperson showed us a demo called Tango Blaster, which lets you play a first-person shooter with a modified NERF gun. You can shoot at enemies as usual, but thanks to the phone’s motion-tracking and depth-sensing tech, you can seek cover by going behind walls and find new robots to shoot by moving your phone-equipped gun around.


RealSense product manager Michael Liu says that the two technologies work together really well, RealSense providing the depth sensing while Tango takes care of the 3D motion tracking.

Developers will be able to buy the device later this year, while consumers will most likely have to wait until 2016. No pricing info is available as yet, but the original Project Tango dev kit came in at $1024, while the consumer version went on sale for $512.


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