One huge leap forward has been derived from Sony’s CyberCode™ and intelligent technologies polished through those developments of “AIBO” and “QRIO”. I was lucky enough to sit down for a Skype chat with two people from the development team who told me all about the exciting possibilities.


SmartAR Thinking b.TWEEN 3D
These pages are full of people talking about augmented reality, but it’s fair to say that the technology still has some way to go

The thing that marks Sony’s SmartAR stand out from the crowd is markerless object recognition & tracking – so you don’t need to have a distinctive symbol like a QR code set clearly on display for the technology to work. Using very accurate image recognition you can pretty much programme anything to be a marker, whether that’s a photograph, a passage of text, or even the front page of a restaurant menu. Couple this with enhanced speed and the latest 3D space recognition technology and you have something that looks like a very exciting development for the gaming industry.

But as development researcher, Masaki Fukuchi explained when we spoke, the team have much bigger plans for this new technology.

Imagine sitting in a café with the menu in front of you and being able to capture an image of the menu using your smartphone. The SmartAR technology would then recognise the menu and lock on to it and track it, like a marker, and you can interact with it using the buttons and links that are laid over it. You could then access the menu from your smartphone, turning pages like a real menu and saving your favourite pages for when you come back to the café again, as this demonstration shows.

This technology was born out of research Sony has been doing for over a decade developing the capacity for a Robot to be able to visualize its position in a 3-D world. And SmartAR has been developed to interact heavily with Internet content, pulling data from the cloud to make the possible future applications on your smartphone as varied and far-reaching as the world-wide-web itself.