By Daniel Hunter

Google has unveiled a prototype smartphone loaded with 3D hardware and software that allows it to create 3D maps of its surroundings.

The sensors enable the device to make more than 250,000 measurements per second and update positions in real-time.

Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) developed the phone as part of a project called ‘Project Tango’. It has made 200 prototypes for developers keen to develop apps for its 3D capabilities.

Indoor mapping, helping visually impaired people to walk in new surroundings without assistance and gaming are applications Google says could feature on the phone.

In a statement, Goolge said: “We are physical beings that live in a 3D world. Yet, our mobile devices assume that physical world ends at the boundaries of the screen.

“The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.

“We’re ready to put early prototypes into the hands of developers that can imagine the possibilities and help bring those ideas into reality.”

Google has already developed Google Glass and announced it is working on a ‘smart contact lens’.

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