Tango and ARKit, augmented reality according to Google and Apple

Google launched in 2014 Tango, its platform for augmented reality, while Apple last June showed ARKit during the WWDC conference

When we talk about augmented reality and smartphones, we can't help but think of Google and Apple. The former is investing heavily on its AR platform called Tango, while Cupertino in 2017 made ARKit for iOS.

We start by analyzing the Tango platform, designed by Google for Android. Developed in the summer of 2014, it aims to release by 2020 many augmented reality apps designed for the robottin operating system. Tango serves to allow third-party developers to use Google-built frameworks to implement AR in Android apps. The real strength of Tango is the user base that owns a smartphone with the green robot operating system. Potentially the augmented reality platform can reach two billion people, even if there are still big problems.

The problems of Tango

In Google's house, however, not all that glitters is gold. Tango in fact was released three years ago and at the moment the companies that have already invested in this platform and that have shown concrete projects are very few. The main problem is its structure. At the moment, in fact, Tango uses sensors on the camera to track movements and interaction with space. Sensors that are fundamental for Google's AR. Unfortunately, however, most manufacturers outside of Mountain View in the last period has made smartphones without these sensors and then the spread of the platform is slow. Moreover, the fragmentation of the market is turning into a disadvantage for Google. The U.S. company has not been able to convince the various manufacturers, such as Samsung, Huawei or LG to adopt a single standard for augmented reality. The problem with Android is that each manufacturer does a bit as it sees fit based on its own device. What then will be the solution at home Google? According to experts it will be time. That is, in the coming months and years, the technologies for AR app development will decrease in terms of the necessary costs and so some manufacturers will try to invest in the sector, acting as a driving force for everyone else.


ARKit is much "younger" than Tango, since Apple only announced the AR platform in June 2017. However, it is a similar technology that allows developers to create iPhone and iPad camera apps that can bring augmented reality to Cupertino's mobile devices. The difference between ARKit and Tango is that Apple has used machine learning to improve ala technology. This means that some next-generation AR apps could already be used today with the cameras on the iPhone 7 and the anticipated iPhone 8. There's basically no need for sensors, just an A9 processor and the latest version of iOS 11 to use ARKit on Apple devices. This means that soon, thanks also to the 700 million iPhones scattered around the world, Apple will probably be the benchmark in augmented reality applications.