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Look out, the first Lenovo Project Tango phone’s likely to be a whopper

Lenovo is launching a phone this summer featuring the new, innovative 3D location technology from Google known as Project Tango, that’s designed to bring new indoor tracking and augmented reality capabilities to the world right from your smartphone. Lenovo announced the new partnership this week at the beginning of 2016, and we’re edging closer to the device’s summer 2016 release. Here’s everything we know about it so far.

“We locked arms with Google to bring out a consumer device based on Tango,” said Lenovo Vice President Jeff Meredith at the device’s initial announcement, where the Lenovo Project Tango phone was seen as a prototype in a set of renders. However, we’ve yet to see the real thing. Lenovo estimates the phone will cost less than $500, and include around a 6-inch display.  Qualcomm will be developing the chips that power the technologies necessary for Project Tango to function, and being a Google-backed device, it will likely run some flavor of Android.

At the beginning of June, notable phone leaker @evleaks tweeted about the Lenovo device, saying the first Project Tango phone will be the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, and feature a 6.4-inch screen with a 2560 x 1440 pixel screen resolution. Lenovo already has a Phab phone on its books, a giant 6.8-inch Android device that’s more like a tablet than a phone, but even with a slight size reduction, if the information is accurate it’s unlikely you’ll be slipping the Project Tango phone into a tight jeans pocket.

While Lenovo figures out the hardware and distribution, Google has all kinds of ideas in store with Project Tango. Whether it’s helping robots find their way around a home, or bringing larger-than-life experiences through augmented reality, Project Tango uses cameras on the back of a device in order to visualize, map, and remember the spaces you visit. it uses depth and imagery to realize where it is, and then allows you to interact with the space using Project Tango-enabled apps. It’s expected to be extremely accurate and extremely fast at mapping spaces for interactivity.

The technology exclusively uses imagery and mapping to figure out where you are, all without additional sensors such as a GPS. This allows just about anything you’d expect in mapping or augmented reality, with things as simple as a game of Jenga played virtually from a real table, to helping robots find their way around a warehouse to locate and move goods.

To help enable all of capabilities Project Tango will offer, Google and Lenovo are also building an App Incubator to reward developers who find innovative ways to use the new Project Tango technology. Developer kits are already available and winners of the App Incubator will have their apps featured on Lenovo’s new Project Tango-powered smartphone. Google and Lenovo note that apps will be key with the new device to ensure users get the most out of the upcoming device.

Although no official announcements have been made yet, there’s a strong chance Lenovo will launch the Project Tango during Lenovo Tech World, a special event set for June 9 in San Francisco. The official site states we will, “hear the latest on Project Tango,” without giving anything further away. We’ll keep you updated.

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