It was during my trip into London for the Galaxy S III unveiling that I noticed an interesting trend amongst the crowd as they pawed Samsung’s new flagship phone for the first time. What do you think was the first thing most people did; check out the browser, fire up the camera, have a play with S Voice? Some people did, however the most common activity the majority of people indulged in was to download and run a benchmarking application. It seems that a lot of Android enthusiasts are interested in how their new baby measures up against the competition when it’s being put through its paces. It’s long been said that benchmarking applications aren’t actually as accurate as they should be, some are optimised better for a certain version of the OS or even a particular processor. Furthermore to get the full range of results you may find yourself using 2 or 3 different applications. Qualcomm reckons it might just have the answer to this problem.
What is the most stress you can put your phone under at any one time? Well according to Qualcomm it’s running an Augmented Reality (AR) application. AR applications utilise close to all of the major components in the phone all at once including CPU, GPU, DSP, ISP, GPS, gyroscope, compass, accelerometer, barometer, microphone and camera. An AR benchmark application “would be as close as one could come to a total test of a smartphone”
We’re potentially at the Dawn of a new era for technology with the fabled Project Glass prototype already in the hands of some Android developers. Qualcomm, it seems, are ready to help us check to see if our devices are up to the job.
We’ve seen some pretty awesome remote control toys with Android control lately, like the Parrot AR Drone and the BlueDrone Race Car, but perhaps the price tag on those were just a bit too high. Desk Pets has something for you. They’ve just released the “TankBot,” a palm sized treaded robot you can control with an Android app. This is achieved via a universal remote plugged into your headphone jack, so make sure your device is on the compatibility list. The robot charges over USB, so potentially you could charge it with your Android device, provided it can be a USB host (typical of Honeycomb tablets). The battery life admittedly does not receive the gold star of approval at a mere 15 minutes. Nevertheless, its a neat little gizmo that can be had for $25.
Also, Developers, Desk Pets has open sourced the TankBot and they’re looking for developers‘ cool ideas. The top five ideas they receive will in turn get a free TankBot to develop with.
Video & QR code after the break
There are a few Augmented Reality (AR) apps out there like Layar, Junaio, and Wikitude, but none of them could be used on a Honeycomb tablet. Well, thanks to Wikitude’s latest update (6.1), it is now possible to use your tablet’s camera to find places around you.
It is compatible with the Motorola XOOM, LG Optimus Pad, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. The problem is everyone seems to be leaving their tablets at home, but now that we have AR, I think it is time we take it with us, and wave that 10-inch screen in the air to find the nearest Dunkin Donuts.
Android Market Link or QR code via Apps Database
Layar is a popular app that makes looking for information around you fun and intuitive by providing an augmented reality browsing experience. There are over 2,000 layars to choose from now within the app, and they’ve recently added some animation to the 3D objects, as well as Twitter and facebook functionality for sharing those gems you may find in your travels.
The new version 5.0.1 will work on any Android OS version 1.5 and up and has the following additions in its release;
- Layar 5.0.1 fixes a force close problem after installation of 5.0 and of course still includes our new features:
- The ability to take screenshots in AR view and share them or layers with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.
- Layer are no longer limited to static content. Now icons and 3D models can come alive with animation.
- It’s easier to keep track of your favorite and most recently viewed layers with an improved and easier to use user interface.
It’s Free and available in the mrket now, or through our Talk Android App Section.
[via -Android Market]
If you’ve ever searched for property and found the information to be on the weak side, Zoopla, popular UK housing search website, has an Android App that will fill in information for you through their “Augmented Reality” mobile app. The data showing for your search results will include property pricing and historical information about the property, helping you get more relevant data to help your search for the perfect home.
The Augmented Reality camera is said to only work in your region and surrounding area, but it does the job pretty well. Really, most people look for houses in their own areas of dwelling.
Other key features of this app include;
- Hundreds of thousands of properties for sale and to rent
- Map-led search as well as list view and Augmented Reality
- Free, instant value estimates for all 27 million UK homes
- Over 15 million house prices paid dating back to 1995
- Local market data including average home values by area
- Search results by geography, price, keywords and more
- Ability to save and email friends your favourite properties
- One touch click to call or email estate agents instantly
For more information on this app, click here for our Apps Database, or scan the QR below.
Android Market Link
Qualcomm it seems is trying to enter the mobile gaming market swinging. The tech giant has put out a press release detailing and demonstrating the ins and outs of their new “Augmented Reality” technology, which can turn a napkin into an arena. Qualcomm is also trying to pioneer cross platform gaming, which they claim is necessary to make some games financially viable. Just check out the video: