A-N-A-T-O-M-I-Z-E Gadgets

Augmented Reality with a smartphone

Remember Pokemon Go? The game everyone went bonkers over about a year ago, where you point your phone camera and capture creatures as you walk around the city, is based on Augmented Reality (AR). The technology superimposes virtual images, videos, GIFs, etc on views of the real world. AR, along with Virtual Reality (VR) is touted to be the next big thing in user experience when consuming media—videos, music, images, etc.

Google's Tango—the tech giant's AR platform—has already started making its way to smartphones, with AR-enabled apps that help users play games, consume content, and even shop for products by virtually experiencing them on mobiles. Tango works on motion tracking as the device (in this case, the smartphone) moves in space, depth perception, detecting surfaces and sizes, and ‘learning’ the area around it.

Gadget maker Asus recently launched the Zenfone AR, a Tango-enabled smartphone. Similar to how we perceive objects and distances with our eyes, the phone can tell how far it is from objects and walls, and also remember the visual features of an environment. Thus, it can run Tango AR applications to augment surroundings with graphics and images virtually.

Asus uses what it calls a ‘Tricam’ system to enable these features on the Zenfone AR. The setup has three cameras—a 23 megapixel primary camera that captures the environment, a motion tracking camera that enables the phone to track its location as it moves, and an Infrared depth sensing camera that gauges the phone's distance from objects. The information captured by these three cameras enables the phone to run Tango applications.

Expect your Pokemon Go experience to get going with a phone that has this much to offer. But at a cool ₹49,999, the infrared camera would do well to first scan the depths of your pockets.

> A 23 megapixel primary camera to capture the ambient environment

> Motion tracking camera that enables the phone to track its location relative to the subject

> Depth-sensing Infrared camera that gauges the phone's distance from objects

> Google Tango-enabled, to augment surroundings

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 10:04:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/gadgets/augmented-reality-with-a-smartphone/article19379756.ece

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