Lenovo and Google Collaborate on Augmented Reality for Smartphones

During CES 2016 Google announced that it is working with Lenovo to create the first Augmented Reality-enabled smartphone based on Project Tango technology. The Chinese hardware maker of the popular ThinkPad laptop line of products mentioned in the announcement that it plans to release the device with 6.5 inch form factor based on a Qualcomm processor in summer 2016. While this device could appeal to consumers, the company’s strong brand in enterprise could also help to carry some weight in enterprise smartphone purchasing decisions.

The Project Tango collaboration is described on a page on the Lenovo site. Lenovo recognizes that before it can have a successful solution to offer, there must be developers engaged to publish applications that could be valuable to its customers. The call for new applications suggests some useful features, such as measuring real world objects in real time or indoor navigation, and points to the Project Tango developer site for further information.

This announcement received attention from dozens of news services whose writers quickly pointed out that the new device could directly compete with products currently on the roadmap with Intel partners. The Intel-based devices would use the RealSense depth sensing technology for comparable features. At least if the devices are not competing directly, their positioning could be confusing to buyers and slow adoption.

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