Reports: Google close to ~$1B Skybox deal, Tango tablet on tap

|By:, SA News Editor

TechCrunch reports Google (GOOG - unchanged) is close to buying satellite imagery startup Skybox Imaging; a source estimates the price is around $1B.

The Information reported of Google's interest in Skybox in April. Aside from providing high-res imagery that could bolster Google Maps/Earth, Skybox provides related analytics services aimed at enterprises/institutions.

TechCrunch observes Skybox currently relies on just one satellite, and needs more funding as it gets set to launch a second one in June. The company recently placed an order for 13 small satellites.

DigitalGlobe (DGI +0.3%), which sold off when The Information's report came out, is taking the TechCrunch report in stride. The company is a major imagery supplier for Maps/Earth.

Separately, the WSJ reports Google's Project Tango, launched as an effort to create Android phones able to track motion and provide 3D visual maps of one's surroundings, now extends to tablets.

A 7" prototype tablet sporting "two back cameras, infrared depth sensors and advanced software that can capture precise [3D] images of objects" is said to be on tap. There's a good chance OmniVision (OVTI +1.1%), already a Tango partner, is the image sensor supplier.