Lenovo just finished announcing their new product lines for both the summer and fall, and taking center stage was a new smartphone developed in tandem with Google Tango, a project that focused on creating immersive 3D spaces. Lenovo’s Phab 2 PRO is the first smartphone to have this technology built-in, and using a dedicated camera and a set of sensors, can make sense of its surroundings and project an extremely accurate augmented reality space.
For example, using AR apps, students can place true-to-scale virtual dinosaurs in their classrooms and enhance their learning through AR data overlays that appear while they walk around the creatures. AR gaming experiences let you play virtual dominos on your kitchen table, raise a digital pet in your bedroom and fight back swarms of aliens invading your house. With Tango technology the PHAB2 Pro can even begin to change the way people think about mapping
indoor spaces to create new experiences like future augmented reality museum tours via the GuidiGO app. With Tango, the PHAB2 Pro offers unprecedented experiences on a smartphone that will continually learn and improve.
Through a partnership with both Google Tango and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 652 mobile processor, the tech in the Phab 2 is something we haven’t ever seen before. The on-stage demonstrations certainly looked promising, and if the product handles as well as Lenovo showed today, we are in for a real treat.
To this point, augmented reality has been kind of cute and somewhat helpful, but with what Lenovo has built here with Google Tango, we might have something uniquely useful in the AR space.
Homeowners can also now use their PHAB2 Pro to remodel their homes by visualizing real home furnishings in their living rooms and kitchens. Home improvement company Lowe’s is one of the first partners to develop a Tango-enabled application, Lowe’s Vision. The app empowers customers by leveraging Tango technology to measure spaces and visualize how products like appliances and décor, or materials like countertops or backsplash tile will all look and fit together in a room. With Lowe’s Vision, customers will be able to control a new generation of augmented reality tools with a mere tap of the finger.
Lenovo says three core technologies allow the “Tango experience” to occur: motion tracking, depth perception and area learning. Through motion tracking, the PHAB2 Pro’s “eye” sees its own location in 3D. Area learning tells the smartphone its location. Depth perception lets the device analyze the shape of the world around it by detecting surfaces and obstacles. And now for the first time ever, your smartphone can visualize and understand its surrounding objects and environment via sensors that capture more than 250,000 measurements a second.
While unique thanks to Tango, it’s not all the phone has to offer. After all, it still has to be a phone. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, Dolby Audio Capture 5.1 with Dolby Atmos playback, and a 6.4-inch intelligent Assertive Display with a pin-sharp QHD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution, capable of optimizing image quality based on ambient lighting and content.
Lenovo believes the PHAB2 will be known for its photos, and comes with two 13MP rear cameras that have instant focus, fast F2.0 lenses and the same professional-grade Futjitsu Milbeaut image signal processor that powers the Leica camera.
Pricing for the Lenovo PHAB2 will start at $199 (USD); PHAB2 Plus will start at $299; and PHAB2 Pro will start at $499. All will be globally available beginning in September. In the US, the PHAB2 Pro will be sold at select Lowe’s stores nationwide and online by the end of the year. Pricing and availability may vary from country to country.