Virtual Reality Front and Center in the New ASUS Zenfone AR
Taiwanese technology behemoth took the stage today to announce their brand new entry into the Zenfone family, the Zenfone AR. The device will be the first in ASUS’ arsenal to champion virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. ASUS also claims that the Zenfone AR is the first Google Tango and Daydream enabled device to hit the market.
The Zenfone AR will be sporting the advanced Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 octacore (8-core) processor which is optimised for Google Tango. The Zenfone AR is also the first smartphone to tout 8GB of RAM. It also comes with a large 5.7-inch WQHD (wide quad HD) Super AMOLED display and a new five-magnet speaker for a more immersive experience when using AR and VR. It will be running on Android 7.0 Nougat with ASUS ZenUI.
The new addition to the Zenfone family will be sporting ASUS’ new TriCam system which touts three rear facing cameras; a motion tracking camera, a depth-sensing camera and a 23-megapixel PixelMaster 3.0 camera. The PixelMaster 3.0 camera comes with a Sony IMX318 image sensor which sports a f/2.0 aperture Largan Lens. It also has ASUS’ tritech 0.03second autofocus which combines contrast, phase and laser autofocus technologies. The camera sports 4-axis optical image stabilisation (OIS) and 3-axis electronic image stabilisation (EIS) and dual tone flash. It will be powered by a 3300mAh battery with support for Quick Charge 3.0.
Augmenting Experiences with Zenfone AR
The main focus of the Zenfone AR is, of course, the capability and technology in the device for AR and VR. The technologies in the device allow it to take advantage of Google’s Daydream technology which was front and center in last year’s Google I/O and further touted this year. Google Daydream. Daydream allows the Zenfone AR to deliver immersive virtual reality experiences with a simple accessory. These experiences can range from immersive 360° video on YouTube or even VR games which transport the user into new, different worlds altogether.
However, the more interesting feature that Zenfone AR focuses on is Google Tango. Google Tango was announced back in Google I/O in 2016 and focuses on bringing augmented technology to the masses. This is where the two extra camera sensors of the device come in play. The depth of field and motion sensor allow users to experience augmented reality. This includes things like visualising a redesigned room before the redesign. In addition, the Zenfone AR will also help realise indoor mapping and also in door positioning. These technologies are slowly becoming more mainstream and are allowing things like locating exactly where that elusive wrench is in the hardware shop or even transport dinosaurs into the room for you to interact with.
The Zenfone AR will be available in stores starting mid-july for a hefty RM3799 (USD$883.89).