TANGO, the future of mobile augmented reality by Google

tango technology on Lenovo smartphone

The year 2016 was marked by the unveiling of a revolutionary new technology for augmented reality. Lenovo took advantage of its annual conference to present the first smartphone using the TANGO system.

tango technology

First of all, TANGO was a technology developed by Google in 2014 to scan and map space in 3D using a multitude of sensors. Two years later, the famous Mountain View firm teamed up with Chinese manufacturer Lenovo to produce the first smartphone with this technology, the Lenovo Phab 2 pro. " With Tango, the device understands space and movement to the point where it changes the way we interact with our environment. We believe this technology has the potential to become mainstream, so we're excited that PHAB2 Pro is ushering in these new capabilities and making every smartphone more useful." - Johnny Lee, CTO at Google Today, only two smartphones are equipped with TANGO technology on the market.


what are the improvements for augmented reality?

To fully understand this advance, it is necessary to understand the augmented reality. As a reminder, it is the superimposition of 2D or 3D images in real time in reality. This is done through your smartphone/tablet screen and until now it was necessary to use physical markers such as markers to fix the element (especially when inserting 3D models). This new system makes it possible to do without these markers since the sensors embedded in the smartphone scan the part directly and locate its position in space. The device is therefore able to position 3D objects directly on the physical surfaces present in the room. Moreover, they will remain fixed even if you move in space and it will no longer be necessary to print visual cues for the augmented reality to work. It appears, stabilises automatically and stays where you have positioned it! Some application examples:

  • In construction: architects or site managers will be able to calculate dimensions easily and integrate 3D elements more quickly directly on site. The BIM will benefit greatly from this technology.
  • In industry: the 3D catalogues In industry: augmented reality catalogues will work without markers. You will be able to move around with your ready-to-use 3D catalogue in your pocket and demonstrate it on any medium.
  • In museums: Visits will now be enriched with virtual content in augmented reality that is already present in the rooms and that can be discovered as the visit progresses.

the competition is not left out

This new technology will soon have a strong competitor. It is, Apple is preparing its own system for a large number of its devices, as it will be integrated into the next version of iOS. Called ARkitthis technology allows, like TANGO, to "map" surfaces in order to perfectly superimpose elements in 3D on the real thing. A revolution when we know that iOS 11 and ARkit will be available on all Apple devices starting with the 6s model. Its release is scheduled forAutumn 2017 at the same time as the release of the iPhone 8.

As you can see, we are on the verge of a real breakthrough in the field of augmented reality, making it more powerful and mobile than ever. The first applications to be released are promising but the limits are still far from being reached and many surprises are to be expected. So be sure that at Artefacto, we will quickly offer you this technology in order to always provide you the best augmented reality experience.

 Download AR/VR infographic