Qualcomm shows off peer-to-peer cross platform gaming using AR


Qualcomm's Uplinq developer conference has been taking place this week, and SlashGear has been here keeping track of the news.  The silicon company has been demonstrating new Augmented Reality apps based running on their Snapdragon processors, kicking off a new AR Developer Challenge – with a $200,000 prize fund – and showing how its system-agnostic peer-to-peer gaming technology can be used with the Unity 3D game development tool for true cross-platform local gameplay.

Video demo of Peer-to-Peer gaming and more after the cut


Qualcomm demonstrated three devices – a Nexus One running Android, an N900 running Maemo 5 and a Dell notebook running Windows – all taking part in a local game, with automatically created peer-to-peer connections made over Bluetooth and WiFi.  As the video below shows, the game could search for local players, send out invites by itself and then manage whatever wireless technology the devices could support.  Play happens in real-time with minimal lag.  CEO Paul Jacobs also sees the peer-to-peer system as being used in multimedia applications, such as automatically showing photos or video on any nearby screen.

As for Unity, they're working with Qualcomm to add the company's Natural Feature image recognition system into their gaming development engine.  Natural Feature uses a shots from a device's camera to calculate an individual signature based on target points on a person, object or glyph; those signatures are then used to track movement in real space, with the device superimposing digital content on top.

Mattel brought back its 40-year-old Rock'em and Sock'em flighting robots to Uplinq, taking advantage of the new AR technology.  The toymaker a printed battle-ring image and a pair of smartphones, with the robots themselves represented on-screen. Mattel developed the title entirely in the Android version of the AR add-on toolkit; however Unity CEO David Helgason says his company's development engine not only works with multiple platforms – not just Android – but makes AR integration even easier.


Developers interested in taking part in Qualcomm's AR challenge will be able to download the public beta of the Augmented Reality SDK later this Fall.  The SDK will be free, and will support Android 2.1 and higher.

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