A blog post by Qualcomm accidentally leaked information about the Asus ZenFone AR, which is the second Google Project Tango-enabled smartphone and the first one to be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 processor.
The post by Qualcomm that spoiled the Asus ZenFone AR was dated Jan. 4, which means that it was published earlier than planned as the smartphone was being prepared to be officially unveiled at CES 2017.
Asus ZenFone AR Leaked Specs, Features
The Qualcomm blog post has since been taken down, but a cached version can still be accessed online.
According to the cached post, in addition to being the first Tango-enabled smartphone powered by the Snapdragon 821, the Asus ZenFone AR is the first mobile device that supports both the Tango augmented reality platform and the Daydream virtual reality platform, both by Google.
Users will be able to attach the Asus ZenFone AR into a Google Daydream View headset to be able to access virtual reality apps such as Google Street View, Netflix, and YouTube and virtual reality games such as Need for Speed and Gunjack 2.
Asus ZenFone AR: The Second Tango Smartphone
The Asus Zenfone AR follows the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, which is the first smartphone that supports Google's Project Tango augmented reality platform.
The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro was released into the market in the fourth quarter of 2016. The smartphone features a combination several sensors and cameras to support augmented reality, but its specifications do not stand out. The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is powered by Qualcomm's mid-range Snapdragon 625, with 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of internal storage, a 13 MP camera and a 6.4-inch QHD 2.5D display.
Lenovo previously said that it will be releasing another Project Tango smartphone within 2017 to be able to keep up with its competitors, as other smartphone manufacturers have plans to start selling their own Project Tango mobile devices. One of these competitors is Asus, which was previously reported to be planning to unveil its own Project Tango smartphone at CES 2017.
While the device was known to be named the ZenFone AR, not much was known about the smartphone until now.
Prolific leaker Evan Blass added to the leaked post of Qualcomm by uploading images of what he claims to be the Asus ZenFone AR though his Twitter account. However, other important information such as the Asus ZenFone AR's price and availability are still unknown.
The Growth Of Project Tango
Through Google's Project Tango, a smartphone will utilize several sensors and cameras that it comes equipped with to be able to detect the user's position indoors and overlay an augmented reality experience on the surroundings. For example, apps can allow users to place virtual furniture inside their homes, walk with dinosaurs around them, and blast through robots that appear in the environment.
Google Tango-compatible apps are now present in the Google Play Store, through there is currently only a limited number of them. Hopefully, with the pending official announcement of the Asus ZenFone AR and the upcoming smartphones that will support the platform, more developers will work on Tango-powered apps to spread the wonders of augmented reality.