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Inside Google Tango's augmented reality dreams

Tango phones show off the true potential of an augmented world.

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Scott Stein
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1 of 9 James Martin/CNET

Google Tango is an AR technology that has been around since last year, but a new educational initiative called Expeditions AR is aiming for the classroom with a selfie stick.

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Tango-equipped phones can create AR experiences that accurately measure depth and place objects in space: here, we explore the solar system.

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Using a selfie stick means the phone can lifted up and around, exploring all angles of a 3D object in augmented reality. It feels astonishingly real.

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A Google demo seen here explores placing animated characters into reality for theme-park-like photo opps. Just posing with the cowardly lion.

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The Gap has an app that lets anyone see clothing on a virtual mannequin, projected into the room like a store model. You can't virtually try clothing on yourself (yet).

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Tango Constructor is an app that scans any space and creates a 3D mapping with realistic dimensions and photolike textures.

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Once the mapped space is made, tap the VR goggle icon and you can see the 3D model in VR. The Asus ZenFone AR (seen here) handles Tango and Daydream VR at once.

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The Sims Freeplay, by EA, generates a Sims world that can explored like a dollhouse from above, tilting the phone for better views.

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Zoom in and the Sims game becomes a walk-through Sims world. Take real steps and look around, and you'll see the game world like a holodeck virtual reality.

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