Google's Project Tango has been long running project for Google, and today at Lenovo Tech World, Lenovo is showed off their new Tango Phablet, the PHAB2 Pro.
Tango is an open project that incorporates companies from every angle of the enterprise ecosystem and include chip companies and OEMs as well.
Project Tango technology gives a mobile device the ability to navigate the physical world similar to how we do as humans. It brings a new kind of spatial perception to the Android device platform by adding advanced computer vision, image processing, and special vision sensors.
Three core technologies bring Tango experiences to life: motion tracking, depth perception and area learning. Through motion tracking, the PHAB2 Pro’s "eye" sees its own location in 3D. Area learning tells the smartphone its location. Depth perception lets the device analyze the shape of the world around it by detecting surfaces and obstacles.
The Lenovo PHAB2 Pro has a 6.44" display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 . It utilizes Tango and is a three-way collaboration between Google, Lenovo and Qualcomm. This obviously means that the PHAB2 Pro is Qualcomm Snapdragon processor - a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 652 chip. The Snapdragon 652 has an 8-Core CPU configuration with four A72 and four A53 cores, making it more than ample in terms of CPU power and with an Adreno 510 GPU as well as Hexagon DSP.
The PHAB2 Pro also features Dolby Audio Capture 5.1 with Dolby Atmos playback capabilities. With Dolby Audio Capture 5.1, you can use 5.1-channel surround sound to record and share the full panorama of your life. Making this possible are three microphones, spatial capture with noise reduction, along with an onboard 16mp camera.
Tango requires more sensors than the standard smartphone, including a fisheye camera and depth sensor. Lenovo's device hits minimum requirements set by Google for Tango like meeting the 50 µs processing and time stamping of sensor data. This enables a smooth experience between all the different cameras and sensors and to properly render and overlay graphical data over the environment to deliver a quality and consistent AR experience.
Lenovo is pricing the PHAB2 Pro at $499, which is less than what most flagship smartphones sell for today without that capability. The low price point is attractive because it lowers the barrier of entry into AR, which used to cost $1,000+ and up, per device.
With the device, you’ll be able to use the device for AR apps to interact with digital objects, play games, and much more. One use case that Lenovo highlights is the ability to teach students by placing true-to-scale animals in their classroom while the students can walk around them and learn more about the creature.
A bigger use for the technology however is its ability to map an indoor space. Lenovo highlights is using a PHAB2 Pro to lead a guided tour through a museum with AR elements giving information and directions throughout the building.
You could also use this technology to visualize furniture in a room before purchasing it.
Along with the PHAB2 Pro, Lenovo is also debuting the PHAB2 and PHAB2 Plus. The PHAB2 starts at $199 with a 6.4-inch 720p display and 13MP rear camera. It is an affordable AR smartphone with many of the features found in higher-end models. PHAB2’s AR mode, for instance, allows you to create unique photos and videos by superimposing effects such as virtual backgrounds or cartoons onto your pictures. Other highlights include a huge 6.4-inch HD display, complete with a fast-focusing 13MP camera and 32GB onboard storage expandable via a microSD slot.
The Plus has a 6.4-inch display with a dual-camera setup on the back (13MP). The cameras have instant focus, fast f2.0 lenses and the same professional-grade Futjitsu Milbeaut image signal processor that powers the Leica camera. The camera software incorporates a manual mode as well as other special effects. The Plus will start at $299 and both devices will be coming in September.