Before the end of 2016, we took a look back on the evolution of virtual reality (VR) and how far we’ve come. As the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) starts to rain down boatloads of technological marvel at us, it isn’t surprising that a smartphone is making splashes and crossing into the realm of VR and augmented reality (AR).
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The 5.7-inch ASUS ZenFone AR runs on Android Marshmallow, shoots 4K video, has a 1440 x 2560 display and packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor.
But what makes it a new breed of smartphone is that it channels Google’s Tango (formerly known as Project Tango) and Daydream software to give the user access to VR and AR capabilities. As only the second device to ever include Google Tango (which, in a nutshell, is 3D-mapping technology that creates a digital overlay onto the real world), the phone makes use of its three cameras, all needed by Tango, to enable motion tracking, depth sensing, and room mapping, which feeds back information like distance from a wall, distance between two points, and location within a building.
Taking a closer look at the cameras, ASUS claims it has created single image 92-megapixel “super resolution” photo capability produced from four native 23-megapixel photos taken using the highest resolution mobile camera sensor (Sony IMX318) ever put on the rear of a phone. For comparison, Canon’s flagship EOS 5DS R DSLR camera shoots 50.6 megapixel photos. ASUS also claims these types of photos have less noise than a standard HD photo and four times the clarity and still function in low-light settings.
The new ZenFone smartphone is scheduled to release sometime during the second quarter of 2017 and doesn’t have a price yet.