Sony has shown off a new augmented reality technology called SmartAR, which unlike previous efforts such as EyePet and Eye of Judgement, doesn’t necessarily require specific markers to work.
In a video presentation, Sony showed the tech in action on a mobile phone, but makes mention of its potential for gaming and advertising.
Like Microsoft’s Kinect, SmartAR is capable of mapping 3D spaces. Once it has recognised an AR marker, it can manipulate an AR object – such as a character or item – within the bounds of that space, even if it can no longer see the original marker.
Users will be able to interact with and manipulate AR objects independent of marking objects, including directly through a touch screen. This differs markedly from Nintendo’s approach to AR, which relies heavily on markers to provide a surface for the AR object to be presented on.
Sony said the technology builds on the spacial recognition capacities of its Aibo and Qrio robots.
Sony’s love affair with AR began in 1994, and AR features have appeared in various Sony products, including the PS2, PSP, PS3 and Vaio computers.