Up close and hands-on with Lenovo’s augmented reality Tango phone

Earlier today, Lenovo unveiled the world’s first smartphone fueled by Google’s Project Tango (or just “Tango,” as it’s now known) computer vision efforts.

The big new thing? Really, really awesome augmented reality capabilities, all based on the phone’s ability to recognize what’s around it. Think video games that come to life in your living room, bouncing around on your furniture and hiding behind your walls.

We got to check out a handful of demos running on the device — and, well, they’re pretty damned cool. It’s still early days for Tango; there were glitches, with demos crashing a few times even within Lenovo’s keynote. But Tango — or, at the very least, the broader concept of complex, hardware-driven augmented reality — has legs.