New Asus phone highlights augmented reality

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FROM checking out how furniture looks in a room you’re decorating to seeing dinosaurs in the sala while telling a story to your kids or even doing a virtual and yet hyper-realistic tour of a car, augmented reality (AR) plays a central role in the ZenFone AR.

The latest flagship device from Asus was highlighted during the Google I/O Extended Cebu 2017 that drew developers in Mandaue City last Saturday, July 1.

The ZenFone AR will be available on July 17, but Asus through its product and brand marketing manager Mike Santos provided a preview of the smartphone’s features to developers.

Santos said they are working with developers to build AR applications for use on ZenFone AR. He showed to journalists and bloggers the ZenFone AR’s capabilities, which include support for both Google Tango and Daydream.

Tango is an AR technology while Daydream offers immersive virtual reality or VR.

Santos said the phone’s Snapdragon 821 chip and 8GB of RAM give it top of the line specs. “That’s like your laptop,” he said.

The ZenFone AR has a TriCam system that lets the phone track a user’s location as he/she moves through space.

It also has depth-sensing, as Santos demonstrated through an augmented reality tour of a BMW vehicle.

Using the phone, Santos showed to reporters and bloggers the car’s features — from the engine to its interior — and made it look as if they were checking the actual vehicle.

Another demonstration showed how the phone can overlay furniture on a live camera view of a room. Santos said this would allow a homeowner to preview design options.

He also demonstrated how AR can be used to shop for dresses via an augmented reality display of the items.

For its virtual reality capability, Santos let participants play a Harry Potter game that transported them to the popular book’s universe by donning the phone as a VR headset and using a controller to wield a virtual magic wand.

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