Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is the first consumer Google Tango device

At Lenovo's Tech World event today, the company announced the world's first production phone with Google's Tango (née Project Tango) environment-mapping technology on board: the Phab 2 Pro. This enormous phablet has four cameras, but the three on the rear are the most interesting. To power Tango, the Phab 2 Pro has a 16MP RGB camera, a depth-sensing camera, and a motion-tracking camera.

If you're not already familiar with Tango, it's a suite of technologies from Google that can perform motion-tracking, depth perception, and area learning. Using those tools, a Tango device can figure out things about its environment like measuring real sizes of objects and mapping spaces in 3D. Tango can also project objects into the view on its screen like "life-size dinosaurs," to give just one example.

A member of Google's Tango team demonstrated the tech by buillding a map of the stage and overlaying a fantasy environment on that map.

He also measured certain objects on stage in two ways: simple 2D characteristics like the length of a desk, and the 3D volume needed to place another table on stage.

Another demo showed how a Tango phone can generate augmented-reality views of the environment by putting life-size dinosaurs on stage. Yet another AR demo let the presenter place virtual dominoes on the stage, knock them over, and add other triggered events in the domino path.

Lenovo also brought some folks from home-improvement store Lowe's on stage to demonstrate the store's AR shopping app. The Lowe's app can measure a space and overlay elements like flooring on the existing space to let potential remodelers see what their choices will look like. Since Tango knows how large a space is, it can also insert virtual instances of objects like furniture into the space, so homeowners can see just how a particular piece of furniture will fit into a room.

The Phab 2 Pro itself sounds like a pretty nice high-end phone. It's got a 6.4" 2560×1440 IPS display in an aluminum unibody. That huge chassis let Lenovo put a 4,050mAh battery inside, so users can play with the Tango hardware without worrying about running down their devices. The Phab has Dolby Atmos sound output, as well as full Dolby 5.1 audio capture. It has a fingerprint sensor and a "one-handed mode" to make life with that huge screen easier. The Phab 2 Pro will be globally available in September for $499 unlocked.

Comments closed
    • Laykun
    • 4 years ago

    I remember when my Dell Streak was considered too big o.o;

    • sweatshopking
    • 4 years ago

    These guys have enough spying going on. Im not giving them more if I can help it. What a privacy nightmare. Find solutions to problems people actually have, like a phone less likely to fall on your face in bed

      • biffzinker
      • 4 years ago

      Oh good, so I’m not the only it’s happened too.

      • One Sick Puppy
      • 4 years ago

      hahaha. Phones that fall on your face in bed. Slippery phones… so dumb.

      But that begs the question, shouldn’t you be sleeping?

        • biffzinker
        • 4 years ago

        I’ve gotten it a few times with my OnePlus One (Sandstone finish on the back.) It’s less slippery than past phones though. I’m usually trying to do last minute catch up before heading to bed.

    • brucethemoose
    • 4 years ago

    If they ever get wireless display tech nailed down, this would be a cool thing to have in a dedicated VR headset.

      • UberGerbil
      • 4 years ago

      For true augmented reality, it’s pretty much a requirement. Google hasn’t given up on the Glass concept, they’re just throwing all the component spaghetti at walls while trying to get it to mature.

    • albundy
    • 4 years ago

    6.4″? so its a tablet.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 4 years ago

    Android Central says it’ll have a [url=https://www.qualcomm.com/products/snapdragon/processors/652<]Snapdragon 652[/url<], which is not Kryo-based (four A72 cores and four A53 cores). Weird.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 4 years ago

      It occurs to me that I might be missing the point of this device, which is not the internals.

      The only thing remotely interesting in the demo was the dominoes falling. That looked like a lot of fun, even if the first attempt at getting one to fall off the table failed.

        • w76
        • 4 years ago

        I don’t see much advantage worth paying for at all — *as a consumer*.

        Here in the construction realm, I can see some business use cases with the right software leveraging it’s capability; for example, problem resolution in the field; if there’s a problem (structural plan inconsistencies, framing plan, incorrect installation), instead of spending time painstakingly measuring everything… Pull out the phone, load the structural plans in to an app, point the app at the structure, make instant comparisons, flag the differences.

        I’m sure other people in other industries (interior design is mentioned in the article) would find uses. Maybe Hollywood or industrial users can replace expensive bespoke systems they currently have with this as a cheaper, off the shelf solution.

        Whether that’s enough to keep the technology rolling, I don’t know.

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