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Today we got a look at an augmented reality smartphone demo that will be powering gaming on Android devices from this autumn, for apps on all Android devices from Eclair 2.1 upwards. It’s not out for another few weeks, but we’ve had a preview of the prototype demo, which is a Rock ‘em Sock ‘em augmented reality game.

An Android app built with this platform means your phone basically acts like a video camera, but then registers a 2D design, logo or gameboard and imposes the virtual reality on top. This means that you can navigate the reality your Android smartphone camera is capturing, and the ‘augmented’, virtual part of the game stays in the same place, so you aren’t stuck to one gaming view, you navigate the space yourself.

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At the moment it requires a 2D images, or a simple 3D shape, as it needs contrast to register. It can’t yet work in real time scenarios, for example in the street, without a logo or image to lock on to, but the operative phrase was “not yet”, which suggests it’s something that’s on the roadmap.

The AR developer platform is being released in beta in a couple of weeks, (there’s no official date yet), and it is hoped it will open up a new area in the mobile gaming space.

What do you think? What could this do for the Android app games market?

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