This early, Google's Tango is already proving to be quite useful even with the dearth of AR apps for the two devices currently supporting the platform. The company announced Jan. 9 that it is partnering with museums around the world to bring enhanced experiences through the use of the AR technology.

The initiative will first get implemented in Detroit Institute of Arts through a dedicated app developed to offer visitors AR tools when viewing pieces being exhibited.

The app called Lumin is going to bring AR interactivity and a new approach to providing information at DIA. For this particular museum, the project will be using the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, which will be available at the front desk.

Google Tango In Museums

If you are curious about the so-called enhanced experience, Google has cited specific examples that demonstrate how Tango can enrich interactions inside the museum.

Take the case of the Egyptian mummy. Using the Tango-enabled device, visitors will be able to peer behind its bandages, revealing a fully preserved skeleton presented virtually.

There is also the 3-by-4-foot mosaic that was once part of Babylon's Ishtar Gate. Using this piece as a point of reference, the Tango app will be able to show visitors the scale of the structure, which used to stand six stories high.

Finally, Google touted how Tango can bring the Mesopotamian limestone relief to its appearance thousands of years ago. When the decorative element was made, it was painted in different colors. Using Tango, visitors will again see how they must have looked like in their past glory.

AR vs. VR

Based on the examples outlined, one should already recognize the AR's difference from virtual reality. The technology is bringing virtual objects into the physical world. This means that all content are confined to the smartphone screen, a variable that could prove to be a disadvantage when compared with virtual reality, which places its user right in the middle of the virtual world itself.

However, companies are now reportedly building AR glasses that could make AR content consumption as immersive as VR. As more compatible devices roll out, developers are expected to produce more AR apps that could help bolster the viability of the platform.

Meanwhile, Google — with its collaboration with various museums — seems ready to pull all the stops to get consumers to experience augmented reality despite existing constraints. As was previously mentioned, there are currently two devices supporting Tango today, and one of them, the Asus ZenFone AR, is yet to be released. This should could be rectified as OEMs start releasing compatible devices in the future.

Google's push in this particular museum initiative was demonstrated through its vision of AR-enhanced exhibits it showed off last February during the Mobile World Congress.

"This is just the beginning of how you'll be able to use Tango in museums to see more, hear more and learn more," Google said.

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