Qualcomm to launch free vision-based augmented reality SDK

In hopes of driving sales of phones that use their chips (e.g. Android phones), Qualcomm plans to launch an SDK enabling developers to more easily develop augmented reality apps that don’t require obtrusive markers.

Marker based AR recognition is relatively easy to implement, but extremely limited. Significantly more advanced computer vision is possible but is not accessible to most developers. The SDK intends to change this and bring sophisticated marker recognition to applications.

The SDK includes a C++ Library to be used for Android applications and an extension for the Unity 3D game development tool. No iOS support is expected since Apple does not use Qualcomm chips.

The program is currently in private beta now and expects to go into public beta in the fall.   

Read Write Web has more information than the SDKs site, have a look at it to see a photo of Mattel’s Rock’em Sock’em Robots game being played on a empty table top.

UPDATE: Looks like improved marker recognition (and image tracking) is also coming to Flash apps. I expect this one will include a license fee.

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