Augmented reality technology has been kicking around for a while now, pioneered back in the '90s with object recognition and 2D marker technology being used to pass additional information to camera enabled devices.
More recently it's been used in smartphones, such as THQ's Star Wars title for iOS, and in various applications for Nintendo's 3DS.
Yesterday, Sony formally announced the launch of its SmartAR technology, which uses no markers, has the capacity for high speed object recognition and tracking and can handle large virtual objects much bigger than the device's screen.
In the release, Sony references smartphones, but the technology seems remarkably similar to that demonstrated at a presentation on the NGP at GDC earlier this year. There, the audience was wowed with giant virtual dinosaurs - a feat which SmartAR certainly sounds capable of.
"SmartAR technology combines 'object recognition technology' (markerless approach in which no special markers are required) for recognition of general objects such as photographs and posters with Sony's own proprietary '3D space recognition technology,' which has been fostered through the research of robots such as "AIBO" and "QRIO," read Sony's press release.
"With SmartAR technology objects can be recognized and tracked at high-speed. In addition to displaying virtual objects or additional image or text information, the technology also facilitates the expression of AR information over an extended space, thus producing a dynamic, large-scale AR experience.
"Furthermore, information can be acquired or navigated by simply touching the AR information directly on the screen of the smartphone or other device, thus achieving an intuitive and seamless user interface that is unique to SmartAR."
A formal announcement linking the technology to NGP has not yet been made, but more information is expected at a two day event, running from May 20 to 22 at the OPUS Communication Zone on the 8th Floor of the Sony Building in Ginza in Tokyo.
For a better understanding of the system's potential, take a look at the official video below.