March 1, 2018 will be the day when Google cuts support for Project Tango, it’s early effort into augmented reality applications for smartphones. The system was introduced in 2014, but failed to take off properly. While it did make it to a handful of consumer devices and developer kits, its lack of mainstream attention or support from too many manufacturers meant that it didn’t generate too much interest.
Google has today taken down the official Project Tango website, and through its twitter account announced that support is being discontinued on March 1, 2018. The same tweet also announces that the augmented reality journey for Google is set to continue with ARCore, which is the company’s latest foray into AR development. It’s set to take on Apple’s ARKit, and both the new-age platforms for augmented reality don’t require the intensive triple-camera setup that Project Tango relies on to work.
We’re turning down support for Tango on March 1, 2018. Thank you to our incredible community of developers who made such progress with Tango over the last three years. We look forward to continuing the journey with you on ARCore. https://t.co/aYiSUkgyie
— Tango (@projecttango) December 15, 2017
Project Tango, while impressive sounding from the early days, failed to take off properly. While devices that ran on Project Tango were released as recently as last year, it wasn’t quite as successful as ARCore is expected to be. A notable smartphone supporting Project Tango was the Asus Zenfone AR, which was launched last year at Rs 49,999. Another manufacturer that has supported Project Tango is Lenovo, with the Phab 2 Pro large-screen smartphone that was launched in 2016.
Google ARCore was rolled out in August, and the first consumer application was seen recently when the company released AR stickers themed around movie series Star Wars and Netflix-produced TV show Stranger Things. The stickers and applications are already available on The Google Pixel series, making ARCore immediately more accessible to users than Project Tango. The ability of ARCore to function on devices with a single-camera setup makes it a much more attractive proposition for developers and smartphone manufacturers alike.