Rachel Metz

A View from Rachel Metz

An Augmented Reality Chip Might Speed Adoption

If Metaio’s augmented reality chipset can save power in AR apps, smartphone owners could be more inclined to use them.

  • February 21, 2013

Could your next smartphone come with an augmented reality chip? That’s the hope over at Metaio, a German company that announced its first augmented reality processing unit on Thursday. Metaio, which has previously just made software that developers can use to build AR apps, is working with mobile chip maker ST-Ericsson to include this “AREngine” in new mobile chips.

The move is interesting because it should mean that smartphones including the chips would be able to run augmented reality apps for longer periods of time while consuming less power—a point stressed by Metaio cofounder and chief technology officer Peter Meier In a video introducing the chipset.

“Imagine walking down the street with your AR glasses, where the camera is scanning your surroundings constantly,” he says.

I can imagine it, especially for AR apps that come in handy while traveling, such as city guides that show information about the buildings and monuments you’re passing as you gaze at them through your smartphone’s screen, interactive games, or even devices for the visually impaired (see “Augmented Reality, Wrapped Around Your Finger”).

Augmented reality is already gaining speed (see “Augmented Reality is Finally Getting Real,” “Google Game Could Be Augmented Reality’s First Killer App,” and “We Still Don’t Know What Google Glass Will be Like to Use”). Metaio’s move could popularize it even faster.

The latest Insider Conversation is live! Listen to the story behind the story.

Subscribe today
Already a Premium subscriber? Log in.

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Premium.
  • Insider Premium {! insider.prices.premium !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Our award winning magazine, unlimited access to our story archive, special discounts to MIT Technology Review Events, and exclusive content.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly magazine delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Access to the magazine PDF archive—thousands of articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips

    Special discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

    First Look: exclusive early access to important stories, before they’re available to anyone else

    Insider Conversations: listen in on in-depth calls between our editors and today’s thought leaders

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.