SAN DIEGO -- What is augmented reality?
For some time, Qualcomm Inc. has been pushing this technology as possibly the
''next big thing'' in mobile and other platforms. ''Augmented reality allows
computer-generated content to be superimposed over a live camera view of the
real world,'' according to the cell-phone chip giant. ''The concept has seen
growing interest among developers for its potential to create applications that
are more intuitive and interactive.''
It is also based on computer vision technology recently acquired from
Imagination Computer Services GmbH.
At the Uplinq Conference here, Qualcomm moved to accelerate the technology by
unveiling plans to offer an augmented reality platform and software development
The company also announced its inaugural Augmented Reality Application
Developer Challenge, an international competition to spotlight the best
applications developed using Qualcomm’s augmented reality platform and software
development kit (SDK). Awards totaling $200,000 are up for grabs and will be
awarded to individuals or companies demonstrating the most effective,
entertaining and functional new application products.
Initially available for Android devices, Qualcomm’s augmented reality
platform will enable developers to build applications that ''merge reality and
cyberspace.'' The SDK will be made available at no charge to developers.
Toy maker Mattel Inc. is one of the first consumer products companies
embracing augmented reality. It has used Qualcomm’s SDK to bring the classic
Rock ’Em Sock ’Em game to the modern era. Additionally, Qualcomm has
collaborated with leading game engine developer Unity Technologies in the arena.
A beta version of the SDK will be available to developers this fall.