In an effort to compete with Apple’s entrance into the Augmented Reality space, Google made a surprising move back in August. The company announced ARCore which works with the software already included on devices to allow users to create and use AR without needing special hardware.
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. https://t.co/aYiSUkgyie
— Tango (@projecttango) December 15, 2017
This announcement all but spelled the demise of Project Tango, and today those fears were confirmed. The Project Tango Twitter account announced that support for Tango will be ending on March 1st, 2018, in lieu of moving forward with ARCore.
For those who are unaware, ARCore uses development engines such as Unity and Unreal Engine and uses the following techniques:
- Motion tracking: Using the phone’s camera to observe feature points in the room and IMU sensor data, ARCore determines both the position and orientation (pose) of the phone as it moves. Virtual objects remain accurately placed.
- Environmental understanding: It’s common for AR objects to be placed on a floor or a table. ARCore can detect horizontal surfaces using the same feature points it uses for motion tracking.
- Light estimation: ARCore observes the ambient light in the environment and makes it possible for developers to light virtual objects in ways that match their surroundings, making their appearance even more realistic.
ARCore is likely already available on your device, but you can play around with the different Google Experiments by hitting the link here. As for what this means for devices like the ASUS ZenFone AR and Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, we’ll likely see these drift into irrelevance over the coming months.