Qualcomm announces Android-based Augmented Reality platform

Augmented Reality, the title given to applications that use mobile device sensors to lay cloud-based data over real world images in real time, found an early home on Google's Android platform.

The Wikitude World Browser, for example, was one of the breakthrough augmented reality apps for consumers and was originally released for Android. In the year since Wikitude World Browser launched on Android, approximately 100 augmented reality apps have been released on the platform.

Today, at the Uplinq 2010 conference, Qualcomm announced that it will release a software development kit next fall that will let developers easily create augmented reality apps for Android.

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"Augmented reality represents a quantum leap in the mobile experience," said Matt Grob, senior vice president of engineering and head of corporate research and development at Qualcomm in a statement today.  "By offering a no-charge SDK with state-of-the-art image detection and tracking technology, we help developers create the new generation of applications that are richer and more compelling than anything seen on the market today."

Before the SDK is released, Qualcomm will accept just 25 developers to beta test the program. To be enrolled, developers must submit a proposal to Qualcomm outlining exactly what they intend to do with the platform.

After the beta has concluded, a developer challenge with $200,000 in prizes will open, and Mobile World Congress 2011 will be the showcase for the victors.

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