Google’s Augmented Reality: Tango is dead, long live Arcore

Google's Augmented Reality: Tango is dead, long live Arcore

Project Tango was yesterday: The new Arcore Google wants to compete with Apple's Arkit.

(Image: Google / Project Tango)

Since Google has apparently jitters ahead of Apple Arkit get: instead of the ambitious augmented reality platform Tango Google has its focus now to the new, technically simpler Arcore system.

Google takes a change of strategy in Augmented Reality (AR). The US company mothballed a its ambitious AR platform Tango and sends the new Arcore into the race, which is based not only in the name of Apple's Arkit. As with Apple and iOS Arcore meshes with the Android operating system and is designed to facilitate the development of AR applications with Android Studio and the 3D development environments Unity and Unreal Engine.

Only with smartphone hardware

Here, Google waives special hardware such as depth sensor or additional cameras that have played a role in tango. Arcore resorts only to the default hardware of the smartphone. First, the smartphone of Samsung Galaxy family S8 with Android 7 and Google's own support pixels with Android. 8 Until winter, the platform will be available on 100 million devices, Google hopes.

Arcore to over Arkit offer more features: To be seen (tables, floors, etc.) Arkit exclusively horizontal planes while Arcore to see and vertical planes. Google also supports the integration of 3D objects that were gestaltetet with the easy to use VR applications Tilt Brush and block.

hardly equipment

Google had with Tango already AR system in development - and thus a big advantage over Apple: Tango was available for developers since 2013, the Apple system, there is only since the release of the beta of iOS 11 which appear in autumn should. In addition, Tango was technically much more ambitious: In addition to RGB camera of the smartphone is a one time-of-flight depth sensor and a wide-angle camera come with Tango used.

Why Google now adapts to the simpler Apple system, could be two reasons: One, hardly any manufacturers want to build a Tango smartphone. Only two units are hitherto appeared on the market: First, the chunky Lenovo Phab2Pro and a few weeks ago Zenfone AR from Asus. According Tango few apps there was - and the existing usually had only two or three digit download numbers.

The second reason could be the surprising interest from the developer community Arkit: Since the introduction of the Apple system on the developer exhibition WWDC abound, for example on YouTube before Arkit demo videos of developers.

Tango is history

With Google's focus on Arcore Tango should be dead, at least as a platform. Apparently Arcore supports optional but at least the additional Tango hardware.

Correct ride should take up the issue smartphone AR when Apple introduces the iPhone 8 (expected on 12 September). According to rumors, the new AR functions are the focus of the presentation. Especially interesting is whether the producers manage to show meaningful applications of the technology - and not just gimmicks. (Jkj)