Tango Gains Native Unity Support

May 1, 2017 - Written By Daniel Fuller

Google and Unity have brought native support for one of the easiest 3D content development platforms around to Tango, allowing developers to create apps and content for Tango with ease. Google’s Product Manager for Tango, Nathan Martz, took the stage at Unity’s annual Vision Summit to announce the news. Native support means that it’s not only easier than ever to build and test Tango apps for Unity, but developers will enjoy a few additional features, can load up and test apps in a matter of minutes, and can even port apps made for Tango to other platforms, such as Cardboard and Daydream, with little more than a few clicks. As a bonus, a new Unity feature for Tango called Smart Terrain was announced.

Native support for Tango in Unity allows developers to utilize all of the same tools they may use to make a PC or smartphone game or app to work with Tango content. The tools also work in the same way, which means that any developer who can make something in Unity for a static platform, with a bit of tweaking, can make that same thing for Tango. The new Smart Terrain feature on the other hand is essentially what it sounds like; using predefined terrain patterns, tropes, and objects, users can have terrain in their app react to the environment around it, forming to the real-world terrain. The new feature comes courtesy of Vuforia, and will be integrated into Unity and Tango later in the year.

This comes after Daydream getting native support, which means that Unity content can not only be ported between Google’s two platforms, but can be seamlessly integrated, if a developer wishes. By extension, this means that Unity will be one of the first platforms to support convergence between Tango and Daydream, if they eventually collide. At least one Googler sees the two platforms as the future of integration between mobile VR and AR, and having native support for both Tango and Daydream puts Unity at the forefront of that revolution, if and when it finally comes. Unity has long been one of the gold standards of 3D content development for the mobile world, so it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see the popular platform be one of the first, if not the first, to allow developers to create content that uses both Tango and Daydream together.