AR gaming finally hit mainstream success with the launch of Pokemon GO during the Summer of this year, and while Niantic is still trying to keep players from leaving the service with great updates, Lenovo is taking on the AR crowd at a completely different angle. Project Tango is a name many tech enthusiasts will likely recall hearing a time or two, and that’s because Google has been working on developing devices for its transformational augmented reality for quite some time now. Earlier this year at CES 2016 we got a look at the original Project Tango developer tablet, and now Lenovo has the PHAB 2 Pro with Tango to purchase as a much more reasonably sized device.
Just like we saw with Google Daydream, Tango is a brand new ecosystem that’s being designed from the ground up for mobile devices, and the idea is that more and more phones will be built with support for the platform from here on out. As a standardized platform, Tango can deliver augmented reality like we’ve never before seen on devices, particularly mobile devices, and will likely blow your mind as you explore a virtual world through the lens of the PHAB 2 Pro’s massive 6.4-inch screen. AR Games on Tango aren’t like AR games on existing phones, these games actually map out virtual space in the real world and allow you to walk around in them, with fully realized spatial movement and object orientation. Tango devices can also measure correct distance and surfaces, allowing apps and games to accurately map scale and size in virtual space.
All this comes together to mean that you’re actually interacting with virtual characters and places that exist in real space, unlike the Pokemon you’ll see floating “in front” of your phone in games like Pokémon GO. If Pokémon GO were a Tango-enabled game, you wouldn’t just see the Pokémon placed in an image of what your phone’s camera sees, it would actually be hiding in the bushes right next to you, waiting for you to find it. In our first Tango feature video below you’ll see some of our favorite games currently out for Tango devices, which at the time of writing here is a little over one dozen titles. With growing releases and support weekly, Tango is turning out to be something truly special, and makes Lenovo’s PHAB 2 Pro one of the most interesting devices to have been released in 2016. Check out our video below and don’t forget to subscribe for future content alerts!