Google ATAP (that's Advanced Technology and Projects) is where wonderful things are born. Things like the animated magic of Glen Keane's Duet or the modular Project Ara smartphone. It's all great stuff, but it's also all experimental—if a project doesn't make enough progress in two years, it's dead. But Google's Project Tango is alive and well: it just graduated from ATAP.

Not familiar? Let me catch you up: Project Tango started as an experimental smartphone concept that used a powerful chipset and some advanced cameras to capture over a quarter million 3D measurements every second. Basically, it was a 3D scanner that lived in your pocket, and developers have been using it to create immersive augmented reality headsets, help customers find stuff on crowded store shelves and even turn create an alternate, snowed-in reality in a few Target stores. It's like that crazy Intel RealSense camera in that new Dell tablet, but even better.

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Google is already working with LG to put the technology in a consumer device sometime later this year, and taking it out of ATAP just sweetens the deal. It's Google's way of saying that it's serious about Tango, and that it's one step closer to being in your next phone or tablet.

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