Qualcomm Targets Augmented Reality With SDK, Research Lab

San Diego-based Qualcomm is hoping this week that the newly developing field of augmented reality--the layering of software and the real world via mobile phones and computers--will help bolster use of its products, and has released both a software development kit and announced a new research center around the field. According to Qualcomm, it has released a new augmented reality platform and software development kit (SDK), which can be used to power vision-based augmented reality apps, and also opened up a research lab at Georgia Tech focused on augmented reality and video games. The firm said that the SDK, which will be initially available for Android phones, will give developers a rich development environment for augmented reality, and is already in use by toy firm Mattell and game engine firm Unity Technologies.

In a related move, the firm said it has established the Qualcomm Augmented Reality Game Studio at Georgia Tech, to produce new application concepts and prototypes based on its technology. Augmented reality superimposes content information--including graphics and data--over a live, camera view of the real world. The technology has been used to provide more information about objects seen on the camera, GPS-enabled location information, and even video games mobile phones.