Tango for augmented reality aficionados

All the dancing enthusiasts among our readers will now be disappointed, but when we say Tango we don’t mean the dance – this is about Google’s new technology 😀 And as our first Tango device arrived at the office yesterday, we want to share our euphoria with all of you.

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What exactly is Google Tango?

Google Tango is a platform supporting android devices to recognize their 3D environment. The 2D camera stream gets more information to identify different distances, plains and objects.

How does Google Tango work?

Android devices equipped with the Google Tango platform have more cameras and sensors than usual hardware. In additional to the normal camera they have a high definition wide angle camera and a depth measure camera. Thus, app developers have many new possibilities available for creating their applications.

What are the Pros of Tango devices?

For augmented reality, Tango is a huge step forward. With all the additional information you get from the device, you can easily place your objects in actual spaces without the need for a marker. The whole surrounding area is scanned and taken into account, which makes the tracking much more stable, even without markers. With the depth measure camera, the device can recognize real objects and place the digital content behind them. Therefore, the augmented reality experience becomes much more realistic. But Tango is not only interesting for augmented reality. With the function “area-learnings”, you can scan whole buildings in 3D and thus create an “indoor-navigation” without the need for Bluetooth beacons, GPS or WIFI. It also comes with a fully developed movement detection, which can be used for digital worlds. The movement detection detects your movement (you don’t say!?) with the device and converts it to the digital world. What that means is that you can make real steps in the digital environment.

Google Tango is a very new technology, that has not been fully explored yet. It may be months or even years until we know  and are able to utilize its full potential.

Which devices have Google Tango?

At the moment of writing this, there is just one device with Google Tango built in. The Lenovo Phab2 Pro, which we also use in the office for testing.

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Another one, which is scheduled to be released this year, is the Asus ZenFone Ar. This device will even work with Google Daydream.

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As I said, Google Tango is a very new technology, so it’s not being used by many manufactures yet. But Google is very positive about the system and is consistently developing it further.

Anyway, a picture paints a thousand words. And since a video is just many pictures in a row (and we’ve talked enough about theoretical things), here are some “use cases” from our office. We tested the most downloaded apps and even built a small one ourselves.

Dinosaur at the office (Dinosaurs Among Us App; American Museum of Natural History):

Measuring the office (Measure App von Google Inc.):

Demo app with the CodeFlügel Logo:

I hope you got a little insight into the new Google Tango project from this. And who knows, maybe in a few years you won’t be surprised when you search for Tango and the first result is not a nearby dancing class, it is the nearest app developer.