We conclude our series of five innovators in mobile Augmented Reality (AR) with Jay Wright, Qualcomm Director, Business Development. In this capacity Jay is responsible for developing and driving Qualcomm’s Augmented Reality (AR) commercialization strategy. Specifically, he manages Qualcomm’s partnerships with innovators in industry and academia, and leads Qualcomm’s efforts to enable AR within the mobile ecosystem.
Qualcomm made great strides in AR last year, releasing its AR Software Development Kit (SDK) for Android smartphones in October 2010. Offered through Qualcomm’s online developer network QDevNet, Qualcomm’s SDK enables a new breed of applications that delivers interactive 3D experiences on everyday objects, such as 3D gaming experiences on tabletops and interactive media experiences on product packaging and promotional items.
Jay’s 2011 predictions are:
1. Global brands will drive AR as form of interactive media. Global consumer brands will incorporate AR functionality into mobile apps, providing consumers with interactive and entertaining experiences that drive measurable brand engagement.
2. AR will enhance the print media experience. Advertisers and publishers will use AR to make printed pages in magazines and catalogs come alive with interactive content. Consumers will benefit from a more engaging reading and browsing experience when they point their phones at AR-enabled pages.
3. Advances in computer vision technology will drive volume and breadth of AR applications. The majority of today’s AR applications display geo-located data for mapping related applications. However, the availability of vision-based AR technology will enable richer interactive experiences for a broader set of applications, such as gaming, interactive media, and education.
4. AR will become a smartphone differentiator. AR and related computer vision applications will become key differentiators for smartphone and tablet vendors as AR applications demonstrate completely new ways to use these devices.
5. Hype will remain a challenge for the ecosystem. While we’ll see AR apps that go beyond “novelty-ware” to demonstrate real entertainment and utility value, the sheer excitement around AR will continue to drive expectations that the industry will struggle to deliver.
In Jay’s view 2011 will deliver a second wave of mobile AR applications that make use of computer vision technology to deliver a more compelling user experience for a broader range of applications. “The key business driver for these applications will be marketers seeking innovative and measurable engagement with consumers.” Additionally, gaming and entertainment companies will use AR to seek new and compelling forms of play.
Editor’s note: I would like this opportunity to thank the other executives and influencers who provided insights into the drivers and developments that will catapult mobile AR to the top of the business agenda in 2011:
Robert Rice — author, serial entrepreneur, futurist, mobile AR expert/enthusiast and Neogence Enterprises CEO
Lester Madden — hands-on developer and executive whose work (at companies including Microsoft, Symbian and Nokia) has moved mobile AR a giant leap forward.
Martin Herdina – CEO of Mobilizy, a mobile AR pioneer best known for Wikitude Browser and Wikitude Drive
Christine Perey –, an independent consultant and evangelist working within the industry to increase deal flow, validate business models, and promote sanity (not hype) in the nascent mobile AR space.
My personal thanks to Christine for taking part. I am proud to be a media partner and proactively support her next event: The Mobile AR Marketplace (February 15, Barcelona).
Register for the Mobile AR Marketplace
The aim of this event is to bring together pre-qualified buyers and sellers with a clear position in the mobile AR ecosystem to discuss the deals/models/alliances that will move their projects (and the industry) a significant step forward.
The mobile AR Marketplace welcomes companies focused on AR platforms, professional and infrastructure services, and core technology components. It also seeks to connect with professionals, including advertising agencies and brands interested in harnessing AR, as well as content owners/developers eager to explore how AR can super-charge their offer.
Kudos to Christine and her team for developing this new event format! Look for columns and commentary from more mobile AR pioneers and practitioners in the weeks up to (and following) this exciting event.