LONDON – Struggling wireless chip vendor ST-Ericsson NV has announced that it is collaborating with software company Metaio GmbH to support augmented reality with its NovaThor chips for smartphones and tablet computers. Metaio (Munich, Germany) was founded in 2003 and has developed the Unifeye Viewer image recognition system and software design kit.
ST-Ericsson (Geneva, Switzerland) said it would work with Metaio on joint research projects exploring the use of high-definition mobile augmented reality applications, the use of multiple sensors and 3-D stereoscopic imaging.
Augmented reality is a fusion of real-world images and relevant digital information such as text, images and graphics. It uses the ability of camera-equipped mobile devices to recognize buildings and objects based on geolocation information and access to remote databases, which allows contextual information to be drawn down and overlaid. Pioneered in some military applications these technologies are starting to be touted for smartphone and tablet computers.
"We believe that increasing innovation efforts and joint research projects with metaio will considerably boost the number of mobile augmented reality applications available for smartphones and tablets," said Bjoern Ekelund, head of ecosystems and research at ST-Ericsson, in a statement. Ekelund said Nova and NovaThor chips support Metaio's mobile augmented reality SDK and that ST-Ericsson can now offer the SDK to developers.
In 2010 Qualcomm opened its own R&D center for the design and
development of augmented reality and related technologies in Vienna,