iFixit takes apart Google’s Project Tango and reveals prototype's 3D tech

Google's Project Tango recently went under the knife and subsequently revealed a few goodies hidden inside of its white shell.

Teardown website iFixit has dissected the prototype device and assigned it a repairability score of 9 out of 10 (10 being the easiest to repair). That's pretty good, considering Apple's iPhone got a 6 out of 10. And the HTC One (M8) received an astonishingly-low 2 out of 10. iFixit did run into some problems, though. Chief among these issues was that the team couldn't initially turn on the prototype.

In fact, Google apparently didn't want iFixit to turn it on - which forced the iFixit team to figure out another way to power up the IR projector. It ended up fiddling around and came up with a home-hacked IR camera, as well as some shiny dots all over the photo room wall. Those dots revealed that Project Tango works very similar to the original Microsoft Kinect.

"The bright grid of dots shows that Tango works similarly to the original Microsoft Kinect, with a grid of dots to be captured by the IR sensors of the 4 MP camera, building a depth map," explained iFixit, which also shared a link to an old video that detailed Kinect's science.

Apart from a repairability score and a sci-fi like grid of dots, iFixit's teardown showed off the hardware within Project Tango. There's a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and SanDisk memory, for instance. The website also mentioned a "depth-sensing array" that includes an infrared projector, 4MP rear-facing RGB/IR camera, and 180-degree rear-facing camera with a field-of-view fisheye.

READ: Google Project Tango will use smartphones to visualise your 3D world

Google announced Project Tango earlier this year. It's an Android-based smartphone prototype and developer kit that comes with advanced 3D sensors. Google described its prototype as a 5-inch smartphone equipped with hardware and software designed to "track the full 3D motion of the device, while simultaneously creating a map of the environment".



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