Google is ending its high-end smartphone augmented reality platform Tango to focus on the development of ARCore instead.
Google had been experimenting with AR since 2014 with its Tango augmented reality platform. The project never really got off the ground but wasn’t a failure either. Tango had been seen so far in two devices only, Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and Asus ZenFone AR.
Google officially announced today to shut down support for Tango. “Thank you to our incredible community of developers who made such progress with Tango over the last three years,” the company Tweeted. “We look forward to continuing the journey with you on ARCore.”
We’re turning down support for Tango on March 1, 2018. Thank you to our incredible community of developers who made such progress with Tango over the last three years. We look forward to continuing the journey with you on ARCore. https://t.co/aYiSUkgyie
— Tango (@projecttango) December 15, 2017
The Tango support will cease once and for all on 1st March 2018.
When Project Tango was first debuted it was a bit of a trailblazer intended to bring augmented reality experience to smartphones. Just like Microsoft’s HoloLens, Tango, using a smartphone camera created a 3D game world around you involving your surroundings.
However, it required a hardware and high-end equipment which was expensive for most of the manufacturers to implement.
With the rapid development in the AR field, companies like Apple and Google (itself) have come up with solutions that bring AR to smartphones without the need for any particular hardware.
This summer Google introduced ARCore, an augmented reality development platform that had been used in Pixel and Pixel 2 bringing cool AR stickers. ARCore was expected to replace Tango at some point but not that early when ARCore is still in its infancy.
Tango had always been an ambitious project with significant plans in the fields of application. In the TankFest 2017 event, the company behind the game ‘World of Tanks’ using technologies from Tango and HoloLens created a life-like WWII tank experience for the guests.
“Our goal with Tango was really to prove out the core technology and show the world that it’s possible,” said Google AR/VR boss Clay Bavor. “Obviously others have started to invest in smartphone AR; our goal with Tango has always been to drive that capability into as many devices as possible.”
Google is expected to add some of Tango’s best features in ARCore. Tango’s demise means that Google found ARCore a more viable platform and will entirely focus on ARCore’s development now.
The announcement of Tango’s retirement is absolutely disturbing for the handful of users that bought Tango-enabled smartphones, especially for the ones who bought Asus ZenFone AR, released just months ago.