Google Project Tango to End on March 2018

Google shutting down its augmented reality platform Project Tango in favor of ARCore

Google on Saturday announced shutting down its augmented reality platform, Tango.

Tango is succeeded by ARcore, a Google technology that accomplishes much of the same thing, but will work on a wider array of existing smartphone cameras.

Support for Tango will officially end 1 March, 2018. "We look forward to continuing the journey with you on ARCore", Google said in a tweet.

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Back in 2014, Project Tango was a new and exciting prospect as it enabled devices to utilise cameras and IR sensors to track and place objects, and was one of the first mobile options to do so. Some of the smartphones managed to deploy Tango - like the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and ASUS Zenfone AR - but to limited success. In other words, Apple brought a software solution to augmented reality and its ARkit has metamorphosed iOS into a huge AR platform. ARCore does not need special sensors to function, and works with current smartphone hardware and cameras, with machine learning taking care of the workload for the most part. But this doesn't mean that Google is closing the door on AR. In 2017, Asus released the ZenFone AR, which also sported a Tango camera.

The biggest problem with Tango was speed and accuracy. The second-gen Pixel smartphones have already got some AR Stickers that are powered by ARCore. Few companies actually understand this better, in practice, on a grand scheme than Google - an innovator, startup adopter and visionary for many breakthroughs, but also a cold executioner for many others. 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.

The Google ARCore is a new platform for AR development which is created to help developers build augmented reality apps for various devices without the requirement of specialised hardware. "ARCore" is scalable across the Android ecosystem as it doesn't require any additional hardware.

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