Google Tango and the Future of Augmented Reality

It’s very exciting times that we live in today. We’re reaching new heights, exploring greater depths in far more effective and efficient manners than ever before and that’s all due to the exponential advancements in technology.

One such advancement is Augmented Reality. Unlike virtual reality, which is, quite simply put, the creation of a simulated environment, Augmented Reality is the superimposition of the seen world with mapped information.


Although slower in the uptake than virtual reality, AR now seems to be cementing its stance within the IT world. That statement is especially true after the raging success of the ever-popular Pokémon Go – the first of its kind augmented reality game that made waves this summer. However, Augmented Reality is far from a new concept and nor is it the latest fad that’s already settling. In fact, it’s a technology of a future that’s already here. Fast emerging by developing its own path of user acceptance and the perfect example of that is Google Tango. Let’s take a look at how that is.

Google Tango is a highly integrated software/hardware Augmented Reality platform that allows a user a much deeper interaction with the existing world. Utilizing the three-dimensional space to enhance the perception of reality in real-time with environmental elements, Google Tango is a revolutionary implementation of the AR concept. Without the need for Wi-Fi or GPS, it allows users to detect as well as understand and map positions with respect to the user’s surroundings. And now it’s available to use for the general public, thanks to the very first Tango supporting Smartphone, the Lenovo PHAB 2 Pro.

Lenovo PHAB 2 Pro Features and Specs

Recently released, this device is a computing powerhouse and that’s putting it lightly. With features such as a massive 4,050 maH turbo-charging battery, 6.4 inch QHD display, and Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 central processing unit paired with 4GB of RAM, this phone has pretty spectacular specs.

That’s not all though. To enable an incredibly smooth Augmented Reality experience and to support the Google Tango technology, it also features various sensors for accurate three-dimensional motion-tracking and movement monitoring, along with space measurement as well as depth detection. To accomplish this, the PHAB 2 Pro has not one, but three back camera’s including the 16-megapixel rear camera with a super-fast focus, a motion camera, and a depth-sensing camera. It also includes a hefty 8-megapixel front camera as well.

Tango Applications and Games


Moreover, as intended by the AR platform, due to the uniquely complex Tango algorithms, the PHAB2 Pro is able to accurately pinpoint and position your location, not only on the planet but also relative to your immediate settings. This opens doors to a multitude of new AR powered programs and applications that perfectly showcase the capabilities of this platform.

Currently over 35 augmented reality apps and games are readily available on Google’s Play Store that work splendidly alongside Tango. Though games such as Towers for Tango, a simulation game that allows the user to build entire cities with employees and local economy or Slingshot Island, which plants an island right in the middle of your living room, are certainly neat examples of the AR tech, there are also apps that are of true practical purpose.

Applications such as Measure, which allows you to take accurate measurements of any space or object in your room, or Homestyler Interior Design, or Lowe’s Vision which enable you to visualize how pieces of furniture or appliances will look like in your home, show the magnitude of the potential of augmented reality. It is applications and programs such as the aforementioned which give a true insight into the transformative possibilities of AR in various industries, today and in the future.

Given all that, it’s safe to say that this phone is perfectly equipped to deliver a phenomenal mobile AR experience.

Future Expectations and Possibilities

However, that’s not all for the Augmented Reality world.

While Google promises a lot more Tango, and Daydream (it’s virtual reality platform) enabled handsets in the future, it isn’t the only industry giant that’s showing great interest in the field of Augmented Reality and what it has to offer. Apple’s Tim Cook very openly, in a recent candid interview, claimed that it’s Augmented Reality that’s the future of artificial information rather than the hyped VR. Though there’s no concrete evidence that Apple may be releasing a mobile-centric AR product soon, this recent interview, along with Apple’s acquisition of the AR software company Metaio are certainly indicators of a probably augmented reality future.

Even though virtually everyone, including Cook, is of the opinion that it may be a while before Augmented Reality becomes significantly mainstream, that time is coming. If we can take anything from the recent release of the Lenovo phablet, it’s that that time will be upon us much sooner rather than later.

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