Google Tango: we tested with the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro ar!



with the Phab 2 Pro, Lenovo launched the first smartphone that includes new technology Google Tango. Inside, there is a so-called camera flight time capable of a spatial awareness and measure in real time a scene with a 3-dimensional crowd the brightness information. Today, we are interested so the first applications dedicated to the Tango Google project and how this technology works.





the Tango project is not new. He had already given the first signs of life in the first half of 2014, when Google introduced before the Peanut Phone, then the Tablet Yellowstone (for developers only). There are few, the Phab 2 Pro landed on the french market with a price of 499 euros and several applications are already ready to use!


The trick of this smartphone is located at the level of the photo sensors installed in the device. In addition to the standard RGB, Phab 2 Pro sensor is equipped with a so-called camera flight time (Time-of-Flight, TOF). This type of camera TOF illuminates the scene and the objects measured by a Flash of light, and calculate the time that Flash takes for the trip between the object and the camera.


The interest of this smartphone lies in the accuracy and significantly higher speeds than what you have with RGB cameras or position and Acceleration sensors that are present in the classic smartphones. This allows of course dedicated to augmented reality applications to make progress but this questioning also the technique inside-out tracking for virtual reality (which allows you to track the position and movements of the user without the use of external cameras).


Although with the Tango Google smartphone claims to solve the problem of the traceability of the environment, it is not quite the case in practice. As explained in our colleagues UploadVR who have interviewed the person in charge of the development of Tango, the main problem at present is overheating: complex calculations cause an overheating of the processor. If the device was placed in a virtual reality headset, the result could be dangerous. 


I understand that the issue is complex and, as often happens in these cases, it is best to use images more than words. So we created a video that will explain better how works Google Tango on the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro.




do you think that there is more potential in virtual reality or augmented reality?


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