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What Is Google's Tango, Exactly, And Why Should You Care?

If you don’t understand the specifics of Tango, you're not alone. Here’s a quick explainer.

The first consumer Tango phone was announced yesterday by Lenovo. Yay! Great! But what is Tango? And why should designers or consumers care?

Tango is actually a powerful computer vision technology being developed by Google that allows your smartphone to see its environment. It does this so well, in fact, that if you ride a roller coaster using Tango, it can build a 3-D map in real time. And I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Google stuck this same technology inside its Daydream VR headsets, so you could essentially turn your living room into a mini Holodeck—no special tracking systems needed.

For the slightly longer, significantly more charming explanation, watch the above video by Google’s own video duo Nat & Lo. And for the much longer, technically impressive explanation—complete with dinosaurs and real-time interior decorating—watch Tango lead Johnny Lee demonstrate it on stage this year’s Google I/O.