Get To Know The Israeli Startups Behind Google’s Highly-Anticipated Project Tango

By David Shamah, The Times of Israel June 12, 2014 Comments

Petah Tikvah-based Mantis Vision and Raanana-based SagivTech are supplying core technologies for Google’s Project Tango, which is set to enable devices equipped with cameras, sensors and sophisticated algorithms to create a 3D model of the user’s environment and interact with it. Mantis Vision is key to Tango, producing the the main 3D engine used by the system.

Google has been working on Tango for some time, and this week announced details of the project. The company is preparing a Tango software development kit (SDK), to be released in June, to be paired with a tablet containing Nvidia’s Tegra K1 processor. The SDK and tablet will be available for $1,024. Google hopes that developers will develop cool games and applications that will bring 3D to “the masses.”

According to Nvidia, the tablet “incorporates cameras optimized for computer vision, advanced sensor fusion algorithms and integrated depth sensing tools, as well as the Nvidia Tegra K1 mobile processor. As a result, it can understand space and motion the way humans do, enabling interior spaces to be quickly mapped in three dimensions, allowing the creation of applications that blend real and virtual objects.”

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Mantis Vision is central to the Tango project. The company’s 3D engine, called MV4D, will serve as the core 3D engine for Tango devices, which includes structured light-based depth sensing algorithms. That technology is what turns the 2D picture seen by a device’s camera into a 3D environment and recreates inside the device’s processor a very close approximation of what the camera sees and enables Tango-based software to manipulate and interact with the environment.

MV4D’s technology is based on an active triangulation system, meaning that it uses software to “observe” a scene from different points of view, taking into account the dimensions, lighting, shadows and other information via laser. The raw image is sent to a computer, where the 3D modeling takes place. A game creator could use the technology to build a 3D gaming environment, allowing individuals to upload images of themselves as avatars, which can then be programmed into the game.

This article was first published on The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission. To continue reading this article on the TOI site, click here.

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