Sony has demonstrated a new augmented reality system called Smart AR that can be built into the company's future gaming devices.
Augmented reality involves mapping virtual objects onto a view of the real world, usually as seen through the screen of a smart phone. The technology has so far been used to create a handful of dazzling smart-phone apps, but has yet to take off in a big way. However, many believe that mobile gaming could prove to be an ideal platform for the technology. With Smart AR, certain real-world objects could become part of a game when viewed through a device such as the PlayStation Portable. This could allow game characters to appear on a tabletop, perhaps, or to respond to the movement of real objects.
Unlike many augmented reality systems, Smart AR does not use satellite tracking or special markers to figure out where to overlay a virtual object. Instead, it uses object recognition. This means it works where GPS signals are poor or nonexistent, for example, indoors. The markerless system is more difficult to pull off, but it allows many more everyday objects to be used.