There are numerous threads here already, none of which provide even a hint of a timeline, so I tried taking it to the source last night with a specific support request. Sadly, they merely pointed me back here. So here goes, starting with a partial quote of my support request from last night:
I work with Mirada Studio where we built the RealSense-powered "Digital Dance Partner" for Paige Frasier's number at Intel's CES keynote.
Outside of Mirada, I'm currently exploring options for spatial tracking and gesture recognition for an unannounced AR headset built on Android. I'm already working extensively with Project Tango and I'd very much like to be able to work with RealSense sensors on Android - and understand that the Android SDK is forthcoming. We're on a *very* compressed schedule to demonstrate the unit - and currently are building to other sensors.
Is it possible that I can be brought into whatever stage the Android SDK is at so that I can evaluate the possibility of switching development to focus on RealSense in a mobile environment?
In introduced the ticket the way I did to drive home that I come from a background that's very comfortable with the tech. Apart from that, I'm working on a project on the side that will tremendously benefit from the camera tech if Intel is anywhere close to delivering on an Android SDK. The Android SDK has been announced as "coming soon" for at least a year - surely there's something. I'm not asking for extensive support - but if there's an even "mostly" working alpha-level build of Android support, with the anticipated connections to Tango, it would be greatly appreciated.
Please advise if I should dismiss thoughts of using RealSense cameras on this project and stay with my current solution, and PM me if I can get onboard with an alpha/beta level solution for getting RealSense+Tango working on a modern Android phone with external devices.
if the fact that intel has stopped taking reservations for the android phone suggests anything to me it is at the very least that this project has hit some snags in the development process. if you are familiar with project tango development you are probably aware that on the tango google + page a post about a search on intel handsets in the wild revealed a total of 2 handsets found. might want to try to find roi ziss. he was at intel, went to mantis vision, now back at intel.
The delays over the Intel phablet itself are indeed a little concerning. I figure they're a dev kit like the Tango kit, though, and possibly done in smaller batches... That said, I haven't seen one in the wild and it's been a long time since they were originally announced.
But then there's this: we know Tango *works* - the devices are finicky and clearly dev kits not consumer hardware, but the Tango SDK delivers solidly on spatial awareness. Likewise, the front and rear facing RealSense sensors do a great job of generating data that would be useful to Tango and the SDK provides gesture and facial recognition that works quite well in its own right. I can get Leap Motion sensors to work like dynamite on an Android headset, so there's nothing intrinsically limiting about mobile processors and any of these types of data...
So I'm at a loss - we know Intel is more than capable of reliably producing robust hardware in general. We know they've built a decent SDK to support this hardware. We know they're capable of great things in the mobile space... And that they surely WANT to do a lot more with what is one of the few current spatial sensor arrays appropriate for this purpose and type of platform. So I await their response, I suppose, on whether I can sensibly imagine myself building this project to their sensors. The clock is ticking - once we announce, we can't start swapping out what sensors we're using or what SDKs we'll support - that's when it's set in stone.
i found it very strange that within days of intel/google announcing the project tango/realsense android handset there was a google/lenovo announcement of the "first project tango consumer device". and that phrasing in advertisement pretty much continues to this day. so if lenovo is going to have the first consumer device that means google basically has to be certain intel does not. i think there was some kind of agreement about lenovo being first at the project tango device that was behind lenovo agreeing on spending so much money in bringing a device to market. the lenovo device is very similar to the qualcomm vaporware in design and component choice. so i'm thinking lenovo agreed to pick up and continue the qualcomm device but pretty much only if lenovo is the first to market. ok, there is my current speculation on why the google project tango/intel realsense android smartphone project is at the point it seems to be. essentially marketing politics at work.good luck on whatever you are hoping to accomplish.
It's pretty safe to assume that if the hardware hasn't shipped by now that there were probably platform bugs. Even though devkits aren't held to the same standard as say, a shipping CPU product, the engineering culture around validation and stability permeates all of Intel.
With the right OTG cable, rooted device, and a couple afternoons, projects like librealsense can be used to capture data from existing R200 peripheral units on Android... but the "Tango" hardware like the fisheye + imu combo found in the phone devkit aren't available in a standalone config. For an AR HMD, it's not clear to me having access to the RealSense SDK or Tango API would give you a net gain. AR tracking for an HMD is a really difficult problem (latency, accuracy, etc) and I don't think those SDKs or APIs have been tuned for non-handheld usages anyway.
The devices certainly exist and there's every indication that the Android version of the sdk works on some level since they demoed the device last year. The "Intel device leaked" tag on that wiki page is misleading: the pictures are from last year's Intel Developer Forum. (You'll see lots of photos of the device on that table, or of people holding it with that table in the background, if you do a google image search for "idf2015 realsense phone")
I'm just hoping someone from Intel will reach out with information about official Android support in the RS SDK. There's a lot that can be done with generic support that's tied only to the sensor, rather than a specific device. That's what I'm interested in - and I'm crossing my fingers that support will be available.