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Google roundup: Tango, Ara, virtual reality, Glass/Google+

  • Google (GOOG) is working with LG to bring a tablet supporting Project Tango to market in 2015. Google adds Tango, which use 3D vision to track motion, create visual maps, and enable augmented reality apps, will support the Unreal and Unity game engines, and Qualcomm's Vuforia AR platform.
  • Nvidia's (NVDA) Tegra K1 processor (heavy on GPU power) will power the LG tablet. OmniVision (OVTI) should supply the sensors enabling 3D vision. Ahead of the LG launch, Google will provide developers with a $1,024 reference tablet to start building apps. (video)
  • Google managed to show a working prototype (of sorts) at I/O for Project Ara, which seeks to enable modular phones whose parts can be mixed and matched on the fly.
  • Two near-term challenges: Cutting the amount of space taken up by the parts that enable modularity, and building drivers that can support a wide array of 3rd-party modules. Google previously forecast Ara phones would arrive next January.
  • Though it's no Oculus Rift, Google did hand out a cheap virtual reality headset prototype fittingly called Cardboard. The goal of Carboard, which has a companion app, is to get developers to start working on Android VR projects (and thus build a rival ecosystem to Oculus').
  • While plenty of products were launched and updated at I/O, two frequently-hyped platforms, Glass and Google+, received scant attention. Google was reported in April to be narrowing Google+'s ambitions. Glass, which just got a small hardware update, is working through PR/image issues ahead of a full commercial launch.
  • Google I/O product coverage: I, II, III
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