Google launches Tango augmented reality system

Google has officially launched its Tango smartphone augmented reality system, after more than two years of development.

Tango is only available on the Lenovo Phab2 Pro right now though it’s expected that Tango will be available on Android phone in the coming year.

Around 35 apps are launching with Tango. For gamers there are titles such as Crayola Color Blaster.

There are other apps such as iStaging that allows users to place furniture or objects in a space to see what it looks like before buying. Matterport’s scenes app allows users to capture spaces in 3D, which looks amazing.

Tango works next to Daydream, the company’s smartphone virtual reality platform. Hopefully one day both Tango and Daydream are connected offering much more to users.

Microsoft Windows 10 Creators Update

Microsoft held the Windows 10 event today and there were a few things that were unveiled in Microsofts approach to creativity and innovation using the latest technologies.

3Windows 10 is getting an update called the “Creators Update.” The update will introduce the addition of new 3D creation tools, live-streaming, and custom tournaments for the Xbox app. Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and devices group said he wants windows 10 to have the effect of the Gutenberg press of the next wave of computing.

2.jpgMicrosoft has relaunched the Paint app with a push into 3D. The updated app allows users to turn photos into 3D “memories,” export three-dimensional creations from Minecraft, and turn mostly anything into an 3D object. The objects can also be used and viewed via the HoloLens. During the presentation there was an incredible amount of focus on VR and AR capabilities.

4.jpgMicrosoft is also venturing into VR in addition to its AR platform the HoloLens. The VR headsets will start selling at $299, though they will run on the same platform as the HoloLens. No date has been issued for the VR headsets release, although Microsoft has said that Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo will be making headsets.

5The creators update will have big changes to the Xbox. The Xbox app will have live broadcasting built into with the update. Players will be able to stream as a part of Xbox Live allowing players to follow Xbox Live friends. Comments and suggestions from viewers is also going to be integrated directly in-game. There is also going to be an update to its Arena platform allowing for custom tournaments and challenges. The update will also include Dolby Atmos audio support for the Xbox.

6.jpgMicrosoft is also focusing heavily on socializing and communicating with friends and family. Communicating with friends and family can be done directly in the task bar, which allow users to drag and drop content. This update will also include “taps” that let users send stickers of 3D objects.

 

Pokemon Go: a big win for players and Nintedo

Nintendo has taken the world for the past few weeks with Pokemon Go. Go, the latest in the Pokemon series, is a new, innovative, way to playing Pokemon, and not for the lazy.

Pokemon has widely been one of the most successful series though mostly playable on a GameBoy, Pokemon Go takes a different approach. Go is available as an app for smartphones. You can get the game from the app store, install, sign up or use your Google Account, and start playing, and best of all its free!

This is where the game differs, from the rest. Using GPS to track players, you, the player, can only find and catch Pokemon by moving around in the real world. The game syncs with what looks like maps and creates a Pokemon world around you. As you move, walk, not drive, around you run into Pokemon that you can catch. Though finding Pokemon may be difficult for some, there are enough to go around. Once you’ve reached level 5 you can battle a gym. Yes, there are battles, with pretty cool animations.

The game has been one of the most talked about things for awhile now and rightfully so. Its a new take at gaming using the physical world around you and perfectly pairs with Pokemon. Players get a fresh new way to play and enjoy the Pokemon world. According to Reuters, the game has been installed on over 5% of active Android devices in the U.S. Its more popular than Tinder and has a larger daily active user population than Twitter.

Nintendo also gets to enjoy the results of Pokemon Go, the company’s stock price rose bringing its total market cap to $28 billion. The game has added $9B to Nintendo’s value and its still too early to see the entire value of the game.

Pokemon Go was developed by Niantic Labs in collaboration with The Pokemon Company, which Nintendo owns 32% of, according to WSJ. 

The game has only been available in the US, Australia, and New Zealand, until today. The game will also be available in Japan, Europe, UK, and a few other Asian countries, according to The Wall Street Journal

While the game may be free there are micro-transactions, which nowadays is a common trend in free and non free games, though personally I haven’t had the need to purchase anything as of yet.

The game has been a huge success, though it might not stay that way. With the need to be on the go to play that alone might turn off some players or it could start a whole new way to playing games. Though Niantic Labs has plans for new features such as a trading system and AR. Games are already being built for virtual reality and I can foresee Pokemon on VR, though this particular kind of game play and interaction with the real world may flow over to different games, so be ready to see all kinds of games with a similar game play style.