Google abandons Project Tango, validates Apple's approach

Isaac Cain
December 17, 2017

Google began delving into the world of AR with its 2014 venture Project Tango, or just Tango as of previous year, and its AR work has grown quite a bit since then. The information could be used for navigation, mapping, and also augmented reality. A developer phone and tablet were launched by Google to spur app development for 3D mobile sensing experiences. The stickers and applications are already available on The Google Pixel series, making ARCore immediately more accessible to users than Project Tango. Google responded with ARCore, which is similar but somewhat more limited due to the heterogeneity of the Android ecosystem.

Google has officially stated that it would shut down its augmented reality platform Tango on March 1, 2018.

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"We're turning down support for Tango on March 1, 2018". We thank the incredible community of developers who made such progress with Tango over the last three years. The ASUS ZenFone AR too launched with Tango based AR capabilities, but we doubt you will find a friend using that smartphone on the daily. "We look forward to continuing the journey with you on ARCore", a Google spokeswoman told ZDNet. All ARKit-ready apps require is an iPhone running iOS 11 and an A9 processor - there's no need for speciality hardware as even 2015's iPhone 6s and last year's iPhone SE can run apps built with ARkit.

As ArsTechnica notes, the extra hardware didn't make Tango-devices that much more useful or compelling than a regular device. Now, as Google shifts its focus to ARCore, software becomes the big driver of AR, which means that you can expect to see Augmented Reality show up as a feature on a large number of Android handsets.

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