Qualcomm is extending support for Google's Tango technology to the high-end Snapdragon 820, and eventually to other Snapdragon 600 and 800 series processors. Google's Tango Augmented Reality technology gives compatible devices the ability to overlay virtual objects and have information appear on top of actual physical objects visible on the device’s screen.
With Tango technology, Augmented Reality games are possible that bring virtual objects into the physical world, physical objects can be measured using 3D tools, or information can be overlaid on the sidewalk or a piece of art.
The only retail-ready Tango-enabled mobile device announced so far is the Lenovo PHAB2 Pro, which is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 SoC and should be available later this summer.
According Qualcomm, the company "started by making Tango-specific software optimizations to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor." The company also announced the expanded availability of Tango on the Snapdragon 820 processor, and plans to support Tango on future Snapdragon 600 and 800 tier processors.
The Snapdragon 600 and 800 series processors share the same architectural elements needed to handle Tango’s requirements. In addition to the processing resources, five Tango-related sensors are also necessary, including a gyroscope, accelerometer, and three camera sensors, including two Tango-specific camera sensors: a fisheye motion tracking camera and a depth sensor camera.
Howevre, Tango support for the SoC does not mean Tango technology will be enabled on existing devices powered by the Snapdragon 820. The fisheye motion tracking and depth sensor cameras are integral to Tango, so if a device doesn’t have those cameras full support for Tango isn’t possible.