Augmented reality, the ability to layer 3-D CG objects and graphics over real-world objects or images, is a buzzword in the mobile TV space, where its implementation has been the most rapid. Qualcomm now has a software development kit (SDK) for augmented reality experiences for the Android platform. The SDK, which is still in beta, is available on the Qualcomm developer site.
The new SDK has the chance to dramatically increase the usage of augmented reality in mobile games, entertainment, marketing and advertising. Qualcomm says its SDK includes a feature set that allows everyday images on printed media and simple 3-D objects to be “augmented.” Users can also interact with augmented reality by touching real-life surfaces. Qualcomm says its approach to augmented reality is based on computer visual technology, which aligns graphics with the underlying objects or images, a different technique than using a compass/GPS to “power map” applications. Since the SDK’s launch at Qualcomm’s Uplinq conference, mobile developers, marketers and consumer product manufacturers have expressed interest, the company says.