Qualcomm Joining Forces With Google Could Bring About High-End Tango-Enabled Handset
Qualcomm has just revealed that it is optimizing its Snapdragon lineup of chips in order to be able to run Google’s Project Tango augmented reality technology. Indeed, the largest builder of processors in the world has stated that its Snapdragon 652 and Snapdragon 820 processors both have support for Tango, a type of technology that grants mobile users the ability to use any smartphone or tablet device with animated information overlaid on the real world. For example, people with Tango enabled mobile devices can practically visualize how a piece of home appliance would look like in their living room. Now that Qualcomm has begun to provide support for Tango (alongside a number of mobile manufacturers), the technology could find its way to the mainstream more quickly. By the end of this decade, augmented reality is projected to grow into a $120 billion market, as predicted by tech advisor Digi-Capital.
Qualcomm also took the opportunity to announce that upcoming processors belonging to the Snapdragon 800 series and Snapdragon 600 series will come with support for Tango. The Snapdragon chip will host all Tango sensors and algorithms, which means that in a mobile system, additional chips will not be needed anymore. The total power consumed is not more than a couple of watts, which is just low enough to fit the power requirements of smartphone devices. The result is that both the central processing unit (CPU) and the graphics processing unit (GPU) will be free to provide support for user applications, while at the same time, keeping power consumption within manageable levels.
Google created Project Tango after it realized that as good as Google Maps is in mapping the physical world, it was still severely limited. The aim of Project Tango was to go further into the details, not only mapping streets, buildings, and other structures (as Google Maps does), but also scan the insides of rooms, hallways, including furniture, appliances, and even the things one puts atop tables.
Earlier this month, Lenovo officially unveiled its Phab 2 Pro, the first ever smartphone to be integrated with Tango. The release of the Phab 2 Pro will mark the first time Tango is being used in a high profile smartphone offering. But obviously, there is still a long road ahead. But Google’s partnership with Qualcomm is definitely a great help. According to Qualcomm, it has been working closely with Google over the last 18 months or so in order to get Tango to work with Snapdragon chips.