The world’s first augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) smartphone, the ASUS ZenFone AR, has been released in the United States. The ZenFone AR is the only phone to support Google’s Tango AR and Daydream VR technologies.
Tango AR is a platform that detects a user’s position relative to places and objects without the need for GPS or some other external signal. This allows developers to create AR experiences that include indoor navigation, 3D mapping, and environmental recognition. There are already 35 apps on Google Play that are Tango compatible.
The ZenFone AR contains sensors and “computer vision” that helps Tango interpret images, videos, space and motion. This means the ZenFone AR can detect how far the device is from the floor, wall or other objects, so it can sense how it is moving through a three-dimensional space.
To use VR, users can add the Daydream View headset, which comes with a controller that can be used for VR apps and games. The ZenFone AR has a 5.7″ display with a WQHD (1440 x 2560) resolution, which means users will have a large, clear picture with which to enjoy the VR environment.
“The Zenfone AR represents a significant achievement for ASUS in North America,” said Mike Finley, senior vice president, and president, Qualcomm North America and Australia. “Powered by the Snapdragon 821 Mobile Platform, the ZenFone AR is the first announced device to bring both AR and VR capabilities to consumers.”
In addition to the AR and VR capabilities, the ZenFone AR contains an ASUS PixelMaster 3.0 camera that includes a Sony IMX318 sensor and TriTech Autofocus system. Other features of the camera include preset modes such as Super Resolution and Low Light, 4-axis OIS photo and 3-axis EIS video stabilization, and 4k video recording.
Two configurations of the ZenFone will be offered, including a 6GB RAM and 64GB storage option for $599 and a 8GB RAM and 128GB storage option for $699.