While Google is leveraging its foothold on the virtual reality (VR) space, it is also quietly building up its augmented reality (AR) technology for mobile devices through its Tango platform. Companies such as Lenovo and Asus have promptly jumped on-board and it appears that Motorola is also interested in diving into the fray.
Motorola Does The Tango
Speaking before a gaggle of reporters, Motorola's CEO Aymar de Lencquesaing indicated that Tango might be heading to a Motorola device soon. However, unlike Lenovo or Asus, which built a dedicated phone for the platform, Motorola seems to be targeting the existing Moto Z as a potential Tango device.
This move will probably perplex some observers because Tango requires a special set of sensors in order to work and the Moto Z is certainly not outfitted with it.
de Lencquesaing, however, indicated that the device could get those hardware components through a special MotoMod modular accessory.
"Augmented reality on a phone is a technology that's likely to stick," he stressed. "Of course we'll follow, or lead, the market in this area."
Motorola has been trying to drum up interest on this function since the feature has failed to gain traction at this point. The company recently announced a developer competition in order to expand the list of modules, which so far adds Hasselblad camera, a short-throw video projector, a JBL Soundboost Speaker, an extra battery pack to the Moto Z.
More On The Augmented Reality Business
AR is distinguished from VR technology by the way it brings virtual objects to the real world instead of bringing people into a virtual space. This is best demonstrated by the popular game Pokémon GO where digital monsters appear in actual surroundings. Its application in Tango has also excited tech watchers since you can measure and visualize objects with a Tango-enabled device.
An app called Lowe's Home Improvement can help users shop for items they want online and see how they look in context before buying. An upcoming Tango feature will also allow users to navigate stores, museums and other indoor locations, with directions overlaid onto your surroundings.
"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."