Augmented Reality – Qualcomm has created a pretty good position for themselves in the smartphone market where they provide processors and chip sets to a wide range of manufacturers. Qualcomm wants to extend its strong market position to virtual and augmented reality smartglass solutions.
With both device types looking at Android OS as the basis for the software platform, Qualcomm has a good chance with the Snapdragon processor line already powering Android based smartphones. Now they are adding the Qualcomm Vuforia mobile vision platform to the offering to lock in more smartglass headset designs.
The Vuforia SDK adds specific functionality enabling virtual and augmented reality smartglass solutions. The platform allows computer generated 3D content to line up with the real world, an important function for 3D enabled headsets. This feature is not part of the Google Glass software as the headset has only one display and can therefore not show 3D content.
In addition, the platform offers advanced computer vision and object recognition functionality. Combined with a low latency, this software package helps application developers to be more efficient in bringing us independent apps for virtual and augmented reality headsets.
The following video shows what kind of existing and future apps are being powered by Vuforia. There are also other videos available on YouTube that describe additional apps.
Vuforia has already accrued a good fellowship of developers using their software platform, which is certainly a good start to penetrate this future market.
The software was designed to work with the latest headset developments like Epson Moverio and ODG R-7 headset. It also works on the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition powered by Oculus. It is not clear if the platform works as a single solution or an add-on to other augmented reality platforms. This will be a very contested field if headsets are taking off, as many hardware manufacturers are hoping.
The Vuforia SDK will be available as a beta release to select developers this fall. To sign-up, contact Qualcomm directly. – Norbert Hildebrand