Lenovo Phab 2 Pro – world’s first Tango enabled smartphone

Project Description

Lenovo Phab 2 Pro – world’s first Tango enabled smartphone


The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is the first commercial phone that includes Google’s Tango. The Chinese multinational technology company just unveiled its new phone that lets you 3D map your surroundings and add augmented reality overlays to your environment. Before we get into specs and more details of the phone, lets take a quick look at Google’s Project Tango.

Google’s Tango

Project Tango was launched in March 2014. After a few months Google dropped “project” from the title and is calling it simply Tango now. Google’s objective was to allow people to create 3D models of their surroundings. Easier said than done.
As we walk through our every day lives we use visual cues to navigate and understand our surroundings. To interact with our environment and also with each other we need an awareness of space and motion. Mobile devices don’t have such an awareness.

“The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion”. [1]

This all sounds kind of futuristic but what it actually means is that Tango devices will be able to track the full 3D motion of the device, while they simultaneously create a map of their environment. You could use your phone for capturing the dimensions of your home before starting to buy furniture. You could navigate through a new building and avoid getting lost. Or you could search for a specific product and get the exact location of the shelf in the super market. These are all use cases that should engage the consumer even more with his environment and make him explore new possibilities.

Tango development kit

Tango is also being offered to professional developers who want to explore 3D sensing.

Project Tango Development Kit

One of the first “Project Tango Development Kits”

“The Tango tablet development kit is an Android device with a wide-angle camera, a depth sensing camera, accurate sensor timestamping, and a software stack that exposes motion tracking, area learning and depth sensing to application developers.” [2]

The device can be ordered online but is only authorized for use in select countries.

The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro with Tango

The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro has a large 6.4-inch display and is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 652 processor. It has 4GB of RAM and a fingerprint-scanner and offers a set of features all of the new Android devices have integrated. The phone lets you recreate the real world in a digital way by using four different cameras and capturing more than 250,000 measurements. The three core technologies the device is using are motion tracking, area learning and depth perception.
The motion tracking feature allows the device to understand its position and orientation using the built in sensors. Area learning describes the feature of recognizing the world around the device, identify its location or relocalize in already seen areas. Built in depth sensors tell the device more about the shape of the surrounding world, detecting surfaces and obstacles.
For the active user this means remodeling his house by visualizing furniture in the different rooms, playing games that are overlaid over the real world environment or visit a museum while getting additional descriptions and explanations overlaid.

Lenovo’s augmented reality device will cost $499 when in goes on sale in September. The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is only one of three phones that have been recently released by the company. Besides the Tango-enabled Phab 2 Pro, Lenovo also launched a dual-camera Phab 2 Plus and the Phab 2 smartphone.



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Header photo: © portal gda
Photo in text: © Kaoru Kawashima