MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — Google wants to turn your phone into an augmented reality machine.
Augmented reality, or AR, is the concept of layering digital images on top of the real world. If you’ve played Pokémon Go or used a Snapchat Lens, then you’ve already experienced AR to one degree.
Google has one of the most powerful mobile AR tools with Tango, a project that has been years in the making and sprung out of its secretive product division called ATAP.
Today, Tango is getting closer to running on a wide variety of powerful Android phones and the company showed off the platform’s latest capabilities at its annual I/O conference this week.
Here’s a quick look at what Tango can do today, and some hints at what it’ll be able to do in the future as it comes to more devices.
SEE ALSO: Everything Google announced at I/O
Tango won’t work on just any phone. It requires a lot of processing power and an array of special cameras and sensors.
This Asus phone is equipped with everything you need to run Tango. Eventually, this will shrink down and work with a wider variety of devices.
In this demo, Tango is used in a classroom to show a bunch of students a virtual globe floating in the middle of the room.
Students are given Tango phones on selfie sticks.
You can only see the globe through the Tango phone’s camera lens. Here’s what happens when you put the phone down.