The PHAB 2 Pro includes Project Tango, a Google project that has been in development for several years

Lenovo smartphone scans and maps environment in real time

Lenovo has unveiled a new smartphone filled with sensors that enable it to scan and map the world around it in real time.

The PHAB2 Pro is powered by technology known as Project Tango, developed by Google, that uses the camera and a set of sensors built into the phone to scan the space around it and build a 3D map of the surroundings.

Google has been developing Project Tango for three years and in January researchers from ETH Zurich demonstrated its capabilities after showing off an entire 3D model of their university’s main building made in just 10 minutes using a tablet equipped with a fish-eye lens.

Lenovo suggested the technology could be as pivotal as GPS and improve indoor mapping as well as power new augmented and virtual reality experiences.

Jeff Meredith, a vice president at Lenovo, said: "Put simply, we wanted to take what was an amazing concept and transform it into a commercially viable mobile device.

"From the moment we saw Tango, we knew it could become pervasive, just like GPS. However, to truly make the PHAB2 Pro a game-changer, we developed it at an affordable price for mainstream consumers, delivering not just a bleeding-edge phone, but an all-around fantastic phone that's first to market."

The PHAB2 Pro uses motion tracking, depth perception and area learning to map environments and sense its own location within them. In total there are four cameras built into the device.

Lenovo has partnered with American home improvement firm Lowe's to create a new app that will enable users to measure rooms and virtually redecorate using the new phone.

It is set to go on sale in the US in September for $499 (£344) and can be used to overlay virtual reality experiences on to the screen that are scaled to the room you are in.

Lenovo also owns and operates Motorola, which itself revealed new smartphones called the Moto Z and Moto Z Force.

The new models are described as ‘modular’ which means additional physical features can be attached to the device using magnetic ‘magic dots’ on the rear of the phone, including larger speakers, a longer-lasting battery and a pico-projector that is claimed to produce images as large as 70 inches.

The Moto Z is the thinnest smartphone in the world according to Lenovo, measuring 5.2mm thick, which has been made possible by the removal of the headphone jack, a feature present on all other smartphones.

The Z Force is 2mm thicker with a ‘shatter-proof’ screen and a 21 megapixel camera.

Rival manufacturer LG also launched a modular smartphone earlier this year called the G5.

Recent articles

Info Message

Our sites use cookies to support some functionality, and to collect anonymous user data.

Learn more about IET cookies and how to control them

Close