Qualcomm Incorporated today unveiled plans to offer an augmented reality platform and software development kit (SDK) to enable a new generation of vision-based augmented reality applications. 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 for use in the development and distribution of commercial applications.
Mattel, Inc., a worldwide leader of toys and family products, is one of the first consumer products companies embracing augmented reality and has used Qualcomm’s SDK to bring the classic Rock ’Em Sock ’Em® game to life in a whole new way. Additionally, Qualcomm has collaborated with leading game engine developer Unity Technologies to include support for Qualcomm’s augmented reality platform as an add-on to Unity for Android, providing developers with a rich development environment for augmented reality applications.
Augmented reality allows computer-generated content to be superimposed over a live camera view of the real world. The concept has seen growing interest among developers for its potential to create applications that are more intuitive and interactive. While many current augmented reality applications rely on a compass and GPS, Qualcomm’s SDK is based on world-class computer vision technology recently acquired from Imagination Computer Services GmbH. Vision-based augmented reality provides a greatly enhanced user experience by allowing computer graphics to be tightly aligned with real world objects. It enables developers to build games, extend print and TV media with interactive 3D content, and create educational applications that bridge the digital and real worlds.
“Augmented reality represents a quantum leap in the mobile experience,” said Matt Grob, senior vice president of engineering and head of corporate research and development at Qualcomm. “By offering a no-charge SDK with state-of-the-art image detection and tracking technology, we help developers create the new generation of applications that are richer and more compelling than anything seen on the market today.”
Mattel’s Rock ’Em Sock ’Em game has captivated children and adults alike for decades. Mattel’s proof-of-concept Rock ’Em Sock ’Em game using augmented reality technology extends traditional play into the mobile environment, making it even more relevant to a new generation of technology-savvy consumers.
“Qualcomm’s technology has the potential to make augmented reality much more accessible for the consumer,” said Peter Marx, vice president of production and technology at Mattel. “We are always looking for technology solutions that complement and extend physical toys into new engaging experiences that are relevant to today’s kids — this technology is ideal for this purpose.”
Unity Technologies is the provider of the market-leading Unity development platform for highly interactive 3D content on mobile devices. Unity provides a rich, integrated environment that enables game developers to focus on game content and game play instead of complicated low-level functionality. By adding Qualcomm’s augmented reality platform to Unity for Android, new and existing Unity developers will be able to quickly and easily create augmented reality games for Android.
“Augmented reality adds a dash of magic to reality, creates new ways of interacting with the physical world and enables access to extremely valuable data in a natural way,” said David Helgason, CEO of Unity Technologies. “Qualcomm’s augmented reality platform will unleash our users’ creativity to create new and exciting forms of real-world entertainment."
A beta version of the SDK will be available to developers this fall. Additional information is available on Qualcomm’s developer portal at www.qdevnet.com/ar.
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