Qualcomm readies augmented reality push

The chip maker will ship a beta version of its SDK this fall

Mobile phone technology vendor Qualcomm plans to offer an augmented reality platform and software development kit, the company said on Wednesday at its Uplinq conference.

Augmented reality allows computer-generated content to be superimposed over a live camera view of the real world, according to Qualcomm.

Qualcomm's augmented reality platform will initially be available for mobile phones using Google's Android operating system. It is based on technology it acquired from Austrian company Imagination Computer Services earlier this year, which relies on image detection instead of GPS, according to Qualcomm.

A beta version of the SDK (software development kit) will be available in the fall, according to Qualcomm.

At Uplinq, toymaker Mattel demonstrated a virtual and augmented reality enhanced version of its classic Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots game, which superimposed the battling robots on a ring that mixes virtual ropes and a real mat.

Qualcomm is also working with Unity Technologies to offer augmented reality as an add-on for Unity's game development platform for Android.

Interested developers can apply to take part in a private beta program by submitting a proposal detailing their idea for an augmented reality application, according to Qualcomm. The program will accommodate up to 25 developers, and each will get an Android- and Snapdragon-based smartphone from HTC, it said.

To attract developer interest Qualcomm is also organizing a contest, which will award the winner US$125,000. The contest will commence when the SDK becomes available, and the submission site will open in early November, according to Qualcomm.

Augmented reality is a really hot area at the moment, according to Geoff Blaber, analyst at CCS Insight. But it is still in its infancy, and one challenge will be to make money beyond advertising, he said.

One of the companies Qualcomm will compete with is Dutch outfit Layar, which also offers a platform for augmented reality. Qualcomm's push validates the area, and will bring more attention, according to co-founder Maarten Lens-FitzGerald. To what extent the two companies will go head-to-head remains to be seen, because there are not many details yet about Qualcomm's offering, he said.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags augmented realityconsumer electronicsmobile phonessmartphonesPhonesqualcommPhone applications

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?