Google to shut down its smartphone AR platform 'Tango'

Google to shut down its smartphone AR platform 'Tango'

Google's augmented reality (AR) platform - Project Tango - which was announced back in February 2014, is going to be shut down. Today, Google announced that it will no longer support it starting on March 1, 2018.

So far Google has been testing the waters with ARCore through the release of AR Stickers, which is a mode for the Pixel's cameras that allow users to introduce characters into your camera scenes that can match lighting to look like they're really there, which you check out for yourself in the video above.

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When Google first launched Project Tango, it had a lot of potential leading to the future of smartphones. First one was Lenovo, which introduced Phab 2 Pro with Project Tango, though it was let down with some mediocre specs. The platform, built on Tango, competes with Apple's ARKit augmented reality program. Tango devices required a depth-sensing camera, IR projector, and a special motion-tracking camera. These pieces of hardware were necessary because Tango was based on having powerful sensors inside the device. We saw the only handful of players, or should we say only two, who opted for Project Tango. The Phab2 Pro was the first smartphone that supported Project Tango, and, the ZenFone AR is the first smartphone that supported both Project Tango and Google Daydream. It was rather telling that Google never believed in the platform enough to put it in a Nexus or Pixel device. But, that will soon reach to other companies too because, Google already has a host of other companies on board like LG, Huawei, ASUS and more.

Google believes ARCore is the future of AR and VR for the company thanks to its implementation. "ARCore" is scalable across the Android ecosystem as it doesn't require any additional hardware. While the latter might not be almost as precise in its spacial mapping capabilities as Tango, the online giant naturally sees more potential in this approach, over the heavily hardware-reliant Tango.

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