Pokemon Go was the game which took augmented reality mainstream, with Google hoping to capitalise on this trend with the release of its Tango smartphone augmented reality system.
Currently available only on the Phab2 Pro from Lenovo, Tango has launched with the support of around 35 applications.
The Phab 2 Pro, priced at $499, is under pressure as the first phone to support the AR system, with the handset itself boasting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 chip, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of onboard local storage a 4,050 mAh battery, a 16MP rear camera, sensors for Tango, and Android Marshmallow.
Of the 35 supporting apps, the popularity of games such as Pokemon Go has shone through in the amount of gaming AR apps available from the Play Store. Games like Crayola Color Blaster, Slingshot Island and Hot Wheels offer gamers a more immersive gaming experience, utilising the phablets sensors and tracking capabilities.
There are also non-gaming apps, such as iStaging which allows you to try out new furniture and objects in the space around you. There are also business and educational focused apps, like the Solar Simulator.
Tango has been two years in the making, starting life within Google’s Adavanced Technologies and Projects division. Lenovo’s Phab2 Pro signals that AR is set to make waves in the mainstream consumer market – yet it is early days with Google promising the system to be rolled out to other Android handsets. With that in mind, it may be worth seeing what Google can build upon from this initial launch.