Little has been heard of Google’s augmented reality (AR) platform Tango for quite a few months, and now the final death note has been issued for the technology this week. The tech giant will cease support of Tango in March 2018, focusing its efforts on ARCore instead.
In a Tweet yesterday, Goolge announced: “We’re turning down support for Tango on March 1, 2018. Thank you to our incredible community of developers who made such progress with Tango over the last three years. We look forward to continuing the journey with you on ARCore.”
Project Tango first surfaced way back in 2014, with the technology requiring expensive hardware including a dedicated depth-sensing IR camera and motion-tracking sensors to be built into devices alongside their usual cameras. It was because of this, the lack software beyond some tech demos, plus only two compatible devices – the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and the Asus ZenFone AR – that help facilitate Tango’s demise.
Also helping put that final nail in the coffin was Apple’s ARKit, which was made available to developers in early summer then came to consumer devices in September with the release of iOS 11. Tango’s technology wasn’t entirely wasted however as Google turned its attention to a far more consumer friendly AR project called ARCore.
Announced in August, ARCore is very similar to ARKit, simply using a smartphones on board camera to fuse the digital and real worlds. At present ARCore is still someway behind ARKit, with the software still in the hands of developers at present, while the latter is seeing all sorts of apps being created: from training an AR Dragon or playing Hologrid: Monster Battle, to AR navigation and Sketchfab adding support.
Google’s also begun rolling out a Developer Preview 2 for ARCore in a recent blog posting, noting that: “If you’re a developer interested in AR, now’s the time to start experimenting. In the coming months, we’ll launch ARCore v1.0, with support for over 100 million devices.”
The first implementation of ARCore has been on Google’s Pixel with AR Stickers using the camera. As ARCore continues development into 2018 VRFocus will keep you updated with the latest announcements.