Las Vegas, NV (January 4, 2017) -- Asus has launched a next-generation smartphone that represents a significant advancement in mobile virtual and augmented reality technologies: ZenFone AR. It is the world's first smartphone that supports both Tango AR and Daydream VR technologies developed by Google, giving users totally new ways to engage with and be entertained by their smartphones.
Tango is an augmented reality (AR) platform that uses qualified devices to detect their users' positions relative to places and objects around them without using GPS or other external signals. This allows application developers to create AR user experiences that include indoor navigation, 3D mapping, and environmental recognition, among other augmented reality applications. Daydream is a high quality virtual reality (VR) platform that is built-into the Android operating system to support VR apps.
ASUS ZenFone AR was developed in close cooperation with Google to deliver the best user experience on both Tango and Daydream platforms.
Ideal for AR and VR
To qualify as a Tango-enabled smartphone, ZenFone AR features a set of sensors and “computer vision” software that gives it the ability to interpret images, videos, space and motion like humans. Tango adds three new abilities to ZenFone AR: motion tracking, depth perception and area learning. Through these capabilities, Zenfone AR can detect how far it is away from a floor, wall or an object and understand where it is moving in three- dimensional space.
AR is a rapidly growing segment for mobile technology and one where consumers are extremely excited about. To date, there are already over 30 apps on Google Play1 that are Tango compatible. ASUS and Google are also partnering with well-known brands to bring the Tango AR experience to customers.
For VR, the large, high resolution and high contrast display of ZenFone AR makes it ideal for VR applications when used as a VR display mounted in the Daydream View headset. The Daydream hardware also comes with a controller that is used for VR games and apps. ZenFone AR’s expansive 5.7-inch size immerses the viewer in whatever VR world is being presented, while the WQHD (1440 x 2560) resolution presents images with extreme clarity and the deep black hues enabled by the high contrast super AMOLED technology enhances the 3D effect of the screen.
1Tango apps on Google play: http://get.google.com/tango/apps/
Elite Supporting Hardware
To make ZenFone AR an ideal VR and AR smartphone, it has been designed with latest, top-of-the-line components that also make it one of the most powerful smartphones in the market.
The Snapdragon 8212 processor used by ZenFone AR has been specially optimized for AR operations. ASUS worked closely with Qualcomm Technologies engineers and Google to efficiently distribute computer vision workloads, as well as rapidly process movement and positioning instructions by Tango that is known as six degrees of freedom, or “6DoF” (forward-backward / up-down / left-right / roll / pitch / yaw). The key advantages of the optimized
The Snapdragon 821 processor includes:
-A precise time-stamped sensor that is now more tightly integrated into the SOC processes the data being received from five sensors simultaneously with lag virtually eliminated. This is needed to time audio tracks precisely to the AR graphics being rendered. This accuracy is critical for the precise functioning of the Tango advanced sensor fusion algorithms.
-Efficient hardware integration with no incremental hardware or co-processor required
-Advanced camera and sensor processing capabilities
-Customized Tango software optimizations
-A Hexagon 680 DSP (Digital Signal Processor) for efficiently handling Tango-specific processing, including 6DoF workloads. The Hexagon 680 DSP also features a dedicated low-power sensor core for always-on sensor processing
With 6GB of RAM and the desktop-class Qualcomm® Adreno™ 530 graphics processing unit (GPU) that delivers supercharged graphics performance, the ZenFone AR handles the graphics demands of Tango and Daydream with ease.
To cool its powerful SOC processor, ZenFone AR has a sophisticated vapor cooling system that enables the CPU and GPU to work more efficiently and delivers enhanced performance to prevent overheating.
Complementing the rich AR & VR experiences offered by ZenFone AR is a new audio system that supports Hi-Res Audio and DTS virtual surround sound. External audio also gets a boost with the ZenFone AR’s new ultra-loud 5-magnet speaker.
ZenFone AR is also an accomplished camera smartphone. It has the same ASUS PixelMaster 3.0 camera system found in the ZenFone AR that comprises of the world's highest resolution Sony IMX318 sensor and TriTech Autofocus system. Other key camera features include:
4-axis OIS photo and 3 axis EIS video stabilization - for sharp photos and shake-free videos
Super Resolution mode - This mode creates ultra-high resolution, 92MP photos by capturing and combining four native 23MP photos to create a single image of exceptional 4X clarity with greater detail and less noise.
Low Light mode - This mode increases the light sensitivity of the sensor by up to 400% by combining four neighboring pixels on the sensor into a single one with greater light sensitivity, allowing photos to be shot in low-light conditions without the harsh, overpowering illumination of a flash.
Comprehensive preset modes - A collection of preset modes enables optimized shooting of almost any subject in any environment. Highlights include special-effects filters, Miniature mode to mimic tilt-shift photography to make subjects appear like miniature toy figures, automated unwanted element removal, the automated Beautification mode for capturing attractive portraits, and an automated time-lapse mode.
Professional manual creative controls - These settings give keen photographers advanced control of ZenFone AR's camera, giving them the ability to change settings like white balance, exposure value (EV), ISO sensitivity, shutter speed, and focus. This makes it a powerful tool for learning the fundamental skills of photography and allows users to shoot scenes with many different creative interpretations.
High resolution 4K video recording - For ultra-detailed and sharp videos
AVAILABILITY AND PRICING
The ZenFone AR will be available Q2 2017. Pricing and configurations will be announced at a later date.