While ARCore made its first big consumer debut with AR Stickers on the Pixel and Pixel 2 this week, Google announced today that its original augmented reality project is shutting down. Tango will no longer be supported next year and given the advantages of ARCore, this moving is not all too surprising.
The Tango Twitter account (spotted by ArsTechnica) announced the decision this morning as Google unveiled the second developer preview of ARCore. Begining March 1st of 2018, Tango will no longer be supported, with the company pointing developers to embrace its latest AR initiative instead.
Given that ARCore does not require special hardware sensors and additional cameras, this move is not all too surprising. Only a handful of consumer Tango devices were ever released and by all indications there was little consumer demand.
Beginning its life within the Advanced Technology and Projects division, Project Tango was originally billed as allowing devices to “see” their place within the world. This combinations of algorithms and sensors would allow for new 3D augmented reality experiences, likes tools and games.
Tango eventually launched in consumer hardware — after numerous development devices — with the Lenovo Phab2 Pro and the Asus ZenPhone AR. At CES earlier this year, Google promised dozens of Tango-enabled apps would be coming this year.
In August, Google announced another AR initiative that did not require added hardware and would work with 100 million existing devices. Expected to launch next year, Google notes that it builds off lessons learned with Tango.
Meanwhile, at I/O 2017, Google debuted a standalone VR headset with WorldSense tracking technology that’s also built off Tango and allows the device to know where it is in the world.