Three years ago Google presented the first devices based on Project Tango, a technology that was going to revolutionize the smartphones market by adding AR ( augmented reality ) abilities and other advanced features for 3D scanning and indoors positioning. IT seems that the technology has not paid off and Google announced the company will close the program, urging developers to try out Google’s new AR technology called ARCore.
The Project Tango was always a “rocky” project as it needed to be integrated with complex and expensive hardware in order to work. In the last three years only two devices compatible with Tango arrived on the market: Lenovo Phab2 Pro, a mid range phablet with the wrong GPU for advanced 3D apps and with a pretty high price and the ASUS Zenfone AR, a very expensive flagship with expensive hardware. Both failed to become a commercial success.
Also, the software available for Project Tango devices was not enough. Very few developers backed the idea, especially because there were very few devices consumers were willing to buy.
Google’s alternative to Project Tango – ARCore – is a software solution, not very different than the ARKit presented by Apple this summer with the launch of iOS 11 ( some apps do not work with the new iOS 11 ) . It can work on most devices available on the market, devices that can reach a certain level of performance of course. Also, it’s features are limited compared to Project Tango. Without dedicated sensors, ARCore won’t be able to scan 3D objects with the same level of precision and the space position and navigation features are not possible right now.
On other thing you should know is that Google will officially stop the Project Tango support on March 1, 2018.