Many of you have probably never heard of Mantis Vision. Well, this is the company who is responsible for Google's 3D mapping technology used in the Project Tango tablet. 3D technology is far from being mainstream, but the company hopes they can help push it in the right direction. They just introduced a new tablet and an SDK to go with it in order to do that. Mantis Vision's tablet offering is called Aquila and it is used to scan and photograph objects and render them into interactive 3D scenes. The tablet also works with real-time 3D video and streams, no static content in sight. "We want to make it not only as easy as possible...we want to have an open standard in the market," said CEO of Mantis Vision, Amihai Loven.
This tablet is made by Flextronics and it looks like a typical Android tablet on the outside, aside from a bunch of cameras which are a part of its construction. The device is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 801 processor and it comes with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The device also features Sony's IMX135 13-megapixel CMOS image sensor, a Omnivision OV9714 1-megapixel near infrared camera sensor, an IR flash projector and a white LED flash. These four components are used in order to record content which then becomes 3D with the help of Mantis Vision's SDK. As a result of creating content with this tablet you get a 360-degree model with side profiles and shadows.
"Tango is limited" said Mr. Loven, and they wanted to stand out with this Aquila tablet. "The motivation there is to create an ecosystem of hardware, so [that it's a] commodity. We try to differentiate our technology. We're trying to push the performance and the usage of content creation to the edge." added Loven. Mantis Vision's CEO also added that they're targetting application developers and content creators with this product. They can't exactly focus on the consumer market at this stage, but they hope that they'll be able to in the future. "We are hoping that there will be a standard of 3D videos that will grow, and it's very possible that we will work with different open source communities that want to contribute to the platform because of their needs," he also added.
If you're a developer interested in the Aquila development kit you can pre-order it for $925 at Qualcomm's Uplinq mobile developer conference which is held in San Francisco this week. The development kit will also be available to order in early 2015 in case you don't get it straight away.