At IDF a few months ago, we spent some hands-on time with Intel’s Project Tango smartphone prototype, which had an Intel RealSense camera built in. We liked the concept, and the promise it holds, although the delivery was somewhat lacking.
We hadn’t heard anything else about the prototype until this week at CES. Heading up the stairs to the second floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center, I happened to glance over and spot a sign calling out the Intel RealSense Project Tango camera. I did a double-take; the quasi-booth was all but hidden, stuffed into a corner nearly under the stairs where there was no foot traffic. I checked my watch, calculated that I could still make my next meeting if I was lucky, and ran back down the stairs and around the corner to see if I was imagining things.
Indeed I was not (imagining things, that is); there was Intel’s Project Tango smartphone and the same Intel rep, Michael Liu, I had met with at IDF. Liu told me that the dev kit is up for preorder for $399, and it’s going to ship Q1.
The final version has some new guts: It now runs on an Intel Atom x7-Z8700 (Cherry Trail) SoC instead of the Atom x5-Z8500 (Cherry Trail).
Now, we also have full specs:
|Model||Intel RealSense Smartphone Developer Kit|
|Form Factor||6” smartphone|
|CPU||Intel Atom x7-Z8700|
|Dimensions||83.9 x 164.8 x 8.9 mm|
|RGB Cameras||-2MP front facing-8MP rear facing|
|Wireless Data Network||Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, 802.11 WIFI, and 3G|
|Peripheral Connectivity||Adjustable-tilt docking device with HDMI out & USB 3.0|
|SDK Support||Intel RealSense SDKGoogle Project Tango SDK|
|Intel RealSense Camera ZR300||-Includes RealSense R200-Accelerometer and gyroscope combo-Wide FOV Camera(VGA with >160o FOV) -VGA@60fps depth camera-High precision IMU-Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, GPS, 802.11 WIFI, and 3G-connectivity|
Liu also mentioned a key milestone for the smartphone, which is that it has just received carrier certification. That means it’s cleared FCC regulations. Oddly, as far as I have been told, the Intel smartphone will have just a 3G modem, and Liu would not say which carriers would support it.
There are still a couple of key details unanswered, but Intel is now in the smartphone business with the Intel RealSense Smartphone Developer Kit. The phone will ship in Q1.
Update, 1/9/16, 2:28pm PT: The original version of the article misstated a key spec. The error has been corrected.