Augmented Reality (AR) is truly the next stage of mobile innovation and Project Tango, with whom we're proud to be collaborating with Google to bring the first generation of Project Tango-enabled devices to market, has to be one of the most exciting developments to happen to the smartphone in recent years.
Offering true 3D motion tracking with depth sensing skills, Project Tango-enabled devices allow users to know where they are in space and to react accordingly.
To drive awareness around Project Tango we're showcasing the technology at Viva Technology, the new international event happening in Paris June 30th to July 2nd. It will bring together 5,000 startups with top investors and companies to help grow businesses and be an inspiring event for startups of any size.
In preparation for the event, we've thrown down the tech-gauntlet in the form of Challenge #126. Whereby we're asking app developers from around the world 'to create a Tango-enabled app that changes the way we can imagine the space around us.'
Now, this doesn't need to be a working app, simply a proof of concept based on Tango that can be for business use or consumers. Project Tango devices can handle a wide range of AR situations and for our challenge we're looking for apps and games that make the most of our unique Tango-enabled smartphone in very specific ways.
So, in order for your idea to qualify, it must use Tango in one of two ways: The device must use either Location technology to auto-locate itself in space, or highlight the devices utilities skills, such as measure the length or size of an object, or be able to work out distances between objects.
Understanding Location and Utility apps
There are two ways you can make the most of Location services in Project Tango. The first is to use Motion Tracking, where the device tracks its movement and orientation through 3D space and tells you where it is and which way it’s facing, but it retains no memory of what it sees.
When it comes to applying this to your Challenge #126 entry, think about adding improved rotation sensing, so an app that understands and interprets the ground a user is walking over. Alternatively, why not create a virtual camera, where you combine rotation and position tracking to create a 3D rendered environment.
If you're looking to take your challenge to the next level, then location tools that make the most of Area Learning is vital. This feature of Tango essentially gives your app the skill to see and remember visual features of a physical space, from the edges or corners of an object, to the contours of a location so it can recognize that area again later.
If you're looking to enter a Utility app that measures lengths and distances, you'll need to tap into the stunning Depth Perception features of Project Tango. It allows your smartphone to truly get to grips with the shape of its surroundings.
Being able to understand the distance between places, or the overall size of an object, makes for a wide variety of applications – from games to utilities for the office or the home. One of the neat tricks, which you may wish to make the most of, is that Depth Perception allows you to create an avatar who can interact with your augmented world as though interacting with the real-world, so breaking down the barriers of what is and isn't real.
Depth Perception tools work best indoors at this present time – something worth considering when building your app.
If you're looking for further inspiration, or simply to see how others have applied Tango to their apps, you'll find a range of Tango-enabled apps and games already on Google Play.
How to get involved
When it comes to getting involved, we're not looking for complete apps. At the initial stage we're just looking for amazing overall concepts that can be used with the Tango smartphone.
From the entries received between 5 and 10 ideas will be selected to pitch their idea to a special jury, which includes Lenovo and Google executives, at the Viva Technology event in Paris.
With a wide range of exciting prizes, including fours days in Beijing or Hong Kong (all included) to meet the executive team at Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group, reputations will be made, and more importantly, amazing tools for use with the Lenovo Tango-enabled smartphone will be created.
So, if you think you have what it takes and are keen to get started and make your mark in the Lenovo Challenge #126, head on over to the entry-page at Viva Technology for more information: http://www.vivatechnologyparis.com/challenges/451