By all accounts, the next giant step in consumer technology is going to be augmented reality devices and software. Sony has taken one step in the right direction with its latest advances.
While there have been some games and devices that have tried to work augmented reality tech into their software there is still quite a bit to be done in this area before it becomes a top notch consumer electronics field. Video game producers have come up with the best ways to use the current augmented reality tech with the Kinect even managing to work out a way to help Russian shoppers try on clothes without actually having to try those clothes on. There is another augmented reality use thanks to a hacker who was able to incorporate the technology into a new kind of Tetris game using the Nintendo Wii.
Still, there is much ground to be made in the augmented reality field and Sony wants to be a leader in the field if their updated release of the SmartAR is any indication. What makes Sony’s SmartAR so much better than the more traditional variances is that it does not need to have a marker system in place in order to determine the reaches of its altered reality. Sony demonstrated the SmartAR and showed that instead of the more traditional AR cards, this particular technology can actually recognize things like a table top, books, a coffee cup and regular paper posters. The ability for this technology to focus on actual objects means that it will interact with the environment much more realistically.
In the demonstration, (which we have included a video of) an AR ball falls off the edge of a real table and bounces off of a real book that is placed in its path. One of the best new features with Sony’s SmartAR is that things don’t even need to remain on the screen in order for the technology to remember where they are in the landscape. That alone could make this one of the bigger advances in a technology that is crying out to be used properly.