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Google is officially shutting down Tango AR after three years

19 December 2017

Today on Twitter Google announced that they have withdrawn support from Project Tango going forward, in favour of ARCore. Google responded with ARCore, which is similar but somewhat more limited due to the heterogeneity of the Android ecosystem. A development tablet powered by the Nvidia Tegra K1 launched several months later, but it came with a whopping $1,024 price tag. "Obviously, others have started to invest in smartphone AR, our goal with Tango has always been to drive that capability into as many devices as possible". Unlike Project Tango, it did not need any new sensors and could be rapidly rolled out to millions of iPhones. "ARCore" is scalable across the Android ecosystem as it doesn't require any additional hardware. Machine learning, something that Google showed off in the new Pixel 2 devices, is used to accomplish the same tracking that Tango required hardware for, which gives ARCore a leg up. The first Tango phone for consumers was the Lenovo Phab2 Pro, which had a very big 6.4-inch display with large Tango camera modules on the rear (see above). The phone featured a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a 1440 x 2560 QHD display. Both platforms were interesting, but expensive and not viable. Developers had no reason to target Tango devices when there were nearly none of them in the real world.

Google will likely take what it learned from Tango and use that knowledge to improve ARCore, which is still in beta. ARCore is yet another augmented reality platform from Google which was announced back in August this year.

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If the recently released AR Stickers app is anything to go by, ARCore is already leagues ahead of Tango, and more useful. The platform, in comparison to Google Tango, is pretty simplistic.

The tweet also claims that Google will continue the augmented reality journey with its ARCore technology, in the future.

Google is officially shutting down Tango AR after three years