Google to shut down smartphone AR platform 'Tango'

Google is going to shut down its once-hyped augmented reality project Tango

Google is'turning down support for its augmented reality platform Tango in March of next

However, Google's platform for Android-based augmented reality is still a developer preview for several more months, with the latest version rolling out today. So, to help the developers to narrow down their development process, the company is focusing on a single project to offer much better support for the platform development.

First launched in 2014, Tango (formerly Project Tango) was a design for a camera that could actually detect depth and motion, opening up all kinds of new applications.

Announced in August, ARCore brings augmented reality to existing Android devices without the need of special hardware.

At the basic level, Tango let you do things like use a smartphone as a tape measure, since it could accurately measure distance in front of you.

Still, fairly recently Google seemed committed to Tango. Then, in 2015, it became the first graduate from Google ATAP, the search giant's other skunkworks. Also, when we talk about Project Tango, some of the names that come to our mind are Lenovo Phab2 Pro and ASUS ZenFone AR. However, neither phone was a particular sales sensation, and Tango failed to attract a huge number of developers.

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"Google is continuing AR development with ARCore, a new platform designed for building augmented reality apps for a broad range of devices without the requirement for specialised hardware", the company said.

Google pronounced Project Tango's death sentence via a tweet, where they stated that they would drop support for the program on 1 March, 2018. ARCore is Android's equivalent to Apple ARKit, a baked-in augmented reality platform, which made an appearance into developer kits and a few consumer devices previous year.

As of now, ARCore is only available on Pixel devices and the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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