Motorola looks to pair Moto Z for a dance with Tango

Smartphone maker eyes AR module for 3D mapping, gameplay.

project tango 04
Credit: Jason Cross

The Moto Z might not have the gotten the same attention as the Samsung Galaxy S7 or the Google Pixel, but it’s one of the most promising handsets of the year. Especially the more affordable, long-lasting Moto Z Play. The first phone to bring a mature modular concept to market, the Moto Z has loads of potential, and now Motorola is looking to expand on its burgeoning ecosystem of add-ons with a Tango module.

But don’t get your hopes up yet. For one, there’s hasn’t been an official announcement, just a comment from company president Aymar de Lencquesaing saying that the handset is “likely” to gain a Tango module. For another, Google’s augmented reality tech is just as nascent as the Z itself, which could make for a less-than-stellar experience.

However, a Tango module seems like a perfect way to continue development of the platform without needing to push a dedicated device on the market. And if Google could in turn bring the tech to next year’s Pixels, Tango tech could turn out to be the surprise breakout hit of 2017.

Why this matters: There’s no denying that Tango belongs in our phones. Early reviews of the Phab 2 Pro (look for ours soon) suggest that the platform isn’t ready to make you buy a device on its lonesome, but it could excel as an add-on to an existing system, putting things like 3D mapping and virtual shopping at our fingertips.

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