Google’s Latest AR Efforts Want to Help You Find and Learn About Stuff

Google today took some time to address their current augmented reality efforts at I/O 2017 during their live keynote. Specifically, they spoke about Tango which first debuted in the Lenovo Phab2 Pro last year. “We’ve been investing in Tango for years as a core technology for both virtual and augmented reality,” the company said. “With Tango, devices can track motion and understand distances and their position in the real world.”

With that being said, the company said that the next Tango-enabled smartphone would be the Asus ZenFone AR which will be released to the world this summer.


Furthermore, Google also debuted a new technology they call Visual Positioning Service (VPS). Essentially, it allows your deivce to learn exactly where it is in, say, a mall or large facility. The company demoed the feature by displaying what it’d be like using VPS inside a Lowe’s home improvement store to find a certain type of screwdriver. The technology seemed to work pretty well, with the person holding the phone able to find what they were looking for by following a tracking system. Obviously, locations will need to be mapped out beforehand, but this is a pretty great start.

In fact, Google says some Lowe’s locations and partner museums already have VPS enabled. Currently, we don’t have an exact list of locations you can visit, but stay tuned.

Finally, Google rounded off their AR talks today by sharing some more education-focused initiatives. The company spoke about how two years ago, they launched Expeditions thanks to Google Cardboard. Now, they’re incorporating Tango into the experience through their Pioneer Program and Expeditions AR. “With Expeditions AR, students can gather around the Statue of David, a strand of DNA, or even a whirling Category 5 hurricane without leaving the classroom,” Google explained.

The below video demos the technology.

Throughout I/O, Google says they’ll talk more about their latest AR efforts, so stay tuned to MBEDDED for more details.