Lenovo Partners Google for AR Smartphone
Lenovo and Google announces their partnership to develop an Augmented Reality smartphone in project Tango. The companies also collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies in the project. The announcement was made on Thursday at the Consumer Electronic Show 2016 in Las Vegas.
Project Tango is an ambitious project initiated by Google to enable device Android platform to have a kind of spatial perception, so the devices will be able to detect their position and awareness to the physical world around them. The project brings advanced computer vision, image processing and special vision sensors. Its implementation mainly focuses in three areas of motion tracking, depth perception and area learning.
At first, its technology was hard to understand. Gizmodo reported that when Google first showed the world its 3D aware technology about two years ago it's been pretty hard to explain what exactly it is. A short explanation is that the technology uses a variety of sensors, such as gyroscopes or accelerometer, to give a mobile device a realistic awareness of its surrounding physical world.
Tango is Google's Augmented Reality can be used to map a surrounding area, for example to take a modeling of a room in our house for furniture placement. During a presentation of Project Tango, team leader Johny Lee quickly mapped the stage at the press event, and placed a fridge in a corner that fits perfectly. Developers can utilize the technology for variety of purpose, from gaming to virtual reality.
Previously, Google created two devices for developers involved in project Tango: the Yellowstone tablet and Peanut phone.
On Wednesday, Lenovo and Qualcomm Technologies announced their partnership with Google to bring project Tango to a consumer phone. Qualcomm will provide its Snapdragon processor and will be working closely with Lenovo and Google to optimize combination of hardware and software for bringing the best of Tango platform.
In regard to Lenovo decision to join project Tango, Tango Chen Xudong, senior vice president and president of Lenovo Mobile Business Group said, "To break new ground in today's hypercompetitive smartphone and tablet industries, we must take innovation risks – it's the only way to truly change the way people use mobile technology."
In an interview with Business Wire Chen also explained, "Together with Google we're breaking down silos by working across mobile hardware and software. Turning our shared vision into reality will create a more holistic product experience that captures the imagination of today's consumer."
The Augmented Reality technology is expected to become very big in the near future.Venture Beat reported that Digi Capital, technology advisory firm predicted that AR technology will be a $120 billion market by 2020.
Lenovo and Google expect to enter AR market first by preparing a new smartphone with the technology. The new smartphone is expected to be availabe in summer 2016.