The first Google Project Tango smartphone by Lenovo called the Phab 2 Pro might have just gone on sale in the US, but it looks like another device could on the way. However, this time Asus will be partnering with Google to launch a Project Tango phone. According to a report in DigiTimes, Taiwanese smartphone maker Asus could showcase a new Zenfone which will be Project Tango-ready.
The report claims the device will be called ‘ZenFone AR’ and it will be revealed at CES 2017. DigiTimes says Asus CEO Jerry Shen has confirmed all of this and quotes him as saying, “The ZenFone AR will come with advanced functionality and performance at a competitive price.” DigiTimes is not exactly known for an accurate record, so the report should be taken with a pinch of salt. But it will be interesting if Asus actually pulls this off.
Project Tango by Google helps devices like tablets, smartphones figure out space and motion just like humans do. The idea is to bring spatial perception to an Android devices by relying on cameras and sensors. A Project Tango phone also allows for augmented reality style projections from the camera app and the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro lets users do just that.
Google Play Store already has some Project Tango-enabled apps, but of course these will only work with a compatible device. At CES 2016, Lenovo and Google had announced their Project Tango smartphone, and later in the year the Phab 2 Pro was launched. Google is also working with app developers to create more of these special apps for Project Tango devices.
In terms of specifications, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro 6.4-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440) display, and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor (Tango edition) with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage space. Phab 2 Pro has a 16 megapixel rear camera on board with a special depth-sensing unit, along with multiple camera sensors, which power the augmented reality experience. Phab 2 Pro comes with a fingerprint scanner on the back, and a 4,050 mAh battery.
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Lenovo Phab 2 Pro relies on motion tracking, depth perception and area learning to analyse and visualise its surrounding objects. The idea with Project Tango smartphones is to make augmented reality a lot more useful and part of daily life. For now, we’ll have to wait and see if the Asus Project Tango phone turns out to be a reality.