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June 10, 2016

Lenovo learns to Tango with augmented reality smartphone

News: Lenovo's Phab2 Pro can map surroundings in 3D.

By CBR Staff Writer

Lenovo has unveiled a smartphone based on Google’s Project Tango, which comes equipped with depth-sensing technology.

The phone will feature 3D motion tracking, 3D mapping and depth sensing and offer a range of user experiences including augmented reality and superimposed reality onto phone screens.

Google first announced the project in 2014 and teamed up with Lenovo in January 2016 to turn Project Tango into reality.

Google director of Engineering Johnny Lee said: "But, for the past three years, the Project Tango team has been working to help devices understand physical space and motion more like people do.

"Today we’re taking the next step with the first Tango-enabled phone (Lenovo’s PHAB2 Pro). We’re also graduating the effort from Project Tango to, simply, Tango."

Lenovo’s Phab2 Pro will feature extra cameras and sensors that let the device perceive things in its surroundings.

These cameras and sensors offer the phone a sense of 3D with depth perception. Additional sensors scan nearby objects and location at a speed of 250,000 per second.

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Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro, priced at $499 (£346), is powered by Qualcomm, eight-core Snapdragon 652 processor with Tango edition and optimised for Tango applications. It has a 6.4" QHD (1440 x 2560) which can adapt to various levels of lighting conditions.

Cameras on the phone include a 16MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera which can focus in 0.3 seconds.

The audio on the phone is Dolby Atmos with 5.1 Audio Capture and has 3 mics for 360° of noise cancellation. The phone has a 4050mAh battery and features 2.4 x turbo charging.

According to Google, Project Tango offers numerous features which can be applied in day-to-day life. A user can measure the surroundings of his or her home and virtually check whether or not furniture or appliances fit properly or just look good, aesthetically.

One can bring virtual objects or pets and play with them, as though, they are actually present there.

With sensors to monitor surrounding areas, a user can use them to give a sense of how or what the surroundings are, especially in new surroundings, with directions being displayed on the screen.

Project Tango also enables superimposed reality onto screens. Users can make their favourite pets such as virtual dinosaurs to walk on the table.

Lee added: "Whether you’re shopping, playing, or just finding your way around, Tango helps you explore the world in a new way.

"There are already lots of great apps exploring these new capabilities, and as Tango finds its way into more devices, there will be more to come.

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