Asus will be following Lenovo's footsteps by next year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The company plans to launch possibly the second handset to support Google's augmented reality (AR) technology called Tango. Lenovo has released the first.
During a Q3 investor conference, Jerry Shen, Asustek Computer CEO, said that its AR-enabled phone will be called ZenFone AR. The company has so far remained mum about the ZenFone AR's hardware specifications. In an interview, Shen merely issued an ambiguous statement.
"The ZenFone AR will come with advanced functionality and performance at a competitive price," Shen told DigiTimes.
However, it is important to note that Google AR technology has specific hardware requirements.
As a Tango device, for example, the ZenFone AR is expected to have enhanced 3D imaging camera sensors to meet Google's standards. The technology measures the surroundings with 3D tools and the camera is key in its reimagination within AR-based apps.
The ZenFone AR could also sport a bigger screen real estate in comparison to the devices that constitute the entire ZenFone range. The Tango-infused Lenovo Phab 2 Pro has a massive 6.4-inch QHD screen. Asus should be outfitting its AR-capable handset with roughly the same form factor.
Interestingly, Tango seems to require mid-range processing power. The Phab 2 Pro only runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor and 4 GB of RAM. It is safe to say, therefore, that the ZenFone AR's processor is not going to be something you can write home about. Pricing should also be competitive with the Phab 2 Pro, which is being sold today for $499.
Google's Tango Technology
For those wondering what AR or Tango is all about, it brings virtual objects to the real world. The Pokémon GO is an excellent example of this technology. This is different from virtual reality, which transports users to a virtual space. Tango, on the other hand, is Google proprietary AR technology, which could prove revolutionary in terms of its applications.
"Tango lets you see more of your world. Just hold up your phone, and watch as virtual objects and information appear on top of your surroundings," Google said. "So no matter where you are, there's always a richer, deeper experience to engage with, explore and enjoy."
Based on Shen's announcement, the ZenFone AR should be in the last stages of development or within the early phase of production. Consumers can, therefore, expect more information and leaks in the coming days.