May 31, 2011

Sony Sets Its Sights on Augmented Reality

Sony has demonstrated a new augmented reality system called Smart AR that can be built into the company's future gaming devices. With Smart AR, certain real-world objects could become part of a game when viewed through a device such as the PlayStation Portable. This could allow game characters to appear on a tabletop, perhaps, or to respond to the movement of real objects.

Unlike many augmented reality systems, Smart AR does not use satellite tracking or special markers to figure out where to overlay a virtual object. Instead, it uses object recognition. This means it works where GPS signals are poor or nonexistent, for example, indoors. The markerless system is more difficult to pull off, but it allows many more everyday objects to be used.

Sony has dabbled with the technology before, using two-dimensional barcodes known as CyberCodes as markers for tracking objects.

Technology Review