Google to shut down Tango, to provide augmented reality to all androids

Google has announced to pack up its augmented reality program Tango and would replaced it by ARCore which could be used on any android phones.

A 3D printed Android mascot Bugdroid is seen in front of a Google logo in this illustration taken July 9, 2017. Picture taken July 9, 2017. Reuters

Google announced that it would shut down its augmented reality program Project Tango next year on March 1. The company said that it would launch ARCore, a more powerful, faster, performant, Android-scale software development kit (SDK), which would give high-quality augmented reality for mobile devices in a few months.

The Project Tango had been introduced in 2014 as an effort to bring augmented reality to phones, but it required special hardware which had been limited to Google Pixel and Pixel 2 handsets.

The company had started to provide the ARCore development kit to developers from August 2017. The ARCore has been built based on the experimentations done on the Tango. The new augmented reality program has been aimed to reach 100 millions of users through Android, the largest mobile platform.

The ARCore could use stickers of interactive AR characters in the Pixel camera. These characters along with playful emoji's in the program could directly interact with photos to create life stories.

The company's official website said that the ARCore SDK would include special features including a new Calendar Application Programming Interface which would use Android NDK that compliments the already existing Java, Unity, and Unreal SDKs.

It would also have the functionality to pause an AR app and resume after some time. This could let a person switch to other tasks and come back to the app later.

The motion tracking of the ARCore would determine the position and orientation of objects as it moves. The virtual objects would be tracked accurately using feature points in the room and with the help of IMU sensor. It would observe the surrounding lights and match the virtual object to its surroundings, making it more realistic. It could also understand the plane using the feature points, are used to track motions.

Improvement in accuracy and runtime efficiency in different features like anchoring, plane finding, and point cloud APIs enables to run operations and process data in the cloud.

The company announced the official launch of the upcoming ARCore v1.0 in the coming months. The augmented reality app would soon be made available on Play Store.

Apple iPhoneX had come up with sophisticated AR technology in 2017. It had features including face detection and ability to take clear pictures of objects in motion.