Google and Lenovo said Thursday that they would begin selling a smartphone that can see in distances and can do things like measure the height of your ceiling or the area inside of a room simply by touching a few points on the screen when pointing its cameras up and down.
A culmination of Google’s Project Tango, the device would be sold globally for under $500 and have a screen under 6.5 inches diagonally. Test devices have been in the shape of a small tablet that executives said was too large for consumers to use easily.
In a demo of the capabilities of such phones, executives demonstrated how to play a virtual game of Jenga on a real coffee table, and they demonstrated how virtual pets could react to objects in the real world when caught in the phone’s gaze. One app also appeared to place virtual furniture and appliances in a room measured by the device to see if they would fit.
The companies also put out a call for developers to apply to an app incubator by mid-February with the promise the apps could come pre-installed in the device when it goes on sale.