Mirror Image

Mostly AR and Stuff

Mobile OS for Augmented Reality

Which platform suit better for mobile AR ? Each has it pluses and minuses. I’m trying to make overall estimation, not only form prototype development pov.

1. iPhone
+ beautiful phone
+! no platform fragmentation
+ application store
+ growing market share
+ 3d accelerator, GPS, accelerometer
+ active developer community
-!! No official camera API for now, direct access to camera require undocumented API
– slow camera on the existing model (better in the next model ?)
– CPU underclocked to 412Mhz on existing model (better in the next model ?)

2. Android
+ Open sourced
+ good CPU for existing model (528Mhz for G1)
+ 3d accelerator, GPS, accelerometer for existing model
+ active developer community
+ application store
+ completely open model for developers available.
-! officially java only (10-100 more slow than native code for numerical tasks), installation of native code app require hack on the consumer model.
– low market penetration for now(will be better?)

3. Symbian
+! Big market share
+ some models have good CPU (up to 600Mhz)
+ some models have fast camera
+ some models have 3d accelerator, GPS, accelerometer and even electronic compass
+ application store coming soon for Nokia models
+ will be open source soon
+ situation with Symbian Signed may improve in the future.
-! platform fragmentation, different OS versions are only partially compatible.
– Symbian signed prevent access to GPS/accelerometer for early versions(S60 FP3) self-signed application
-! For signed app – each binary version should be paid and signed separately, require expensive Publisher ID
– No self-signed application allowed to app store.
– high learning curve
– Market share is shrinking now, eaten by iPhone

4. WinMobile
Not many specific pluses or minuses.
– Small market share

5. Other flavors of Linux – situation is not clear yet.

27, March, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,


  1. May be, one of the possible solutions is to create AR operation system as an application versioned for various platforms (iPhone, Symbian, Android, even J2ME) – like earlier version of M$Win were DOS applications and like Python for series 60 is now? Most critical functions must be implemented as OS functions, and can be used in AR-applications – as well as Python S60 environment does.

    Comment by Yana | 14, April, 2009

  2. That is definitely possible, and have advantage of access to the closed API like DSP and Image Processor. That can also lead to standardized multiplaform API like OpenGL – OpenAR. But that would require platform maintainers to develop it all by themselves, and considering that some platform don’t even have access to camera I don’t think it will happen in foreseeable future. First AR have to prove itself to be “must have” for consumers, and only after that platform maintainers would do anything about it.

    Comment by mirror2image | 14, April, 2009

  3. Sure… We need to create new customer’ needs – to insist manufacturers satisfact them :)

    I would like to say a little bit about linux-based devices. First users of AR-enabled devices will be geeks, I think. As it was with first palmtops, GPS-devices, smartphones etc. So, open-sourced linux-based project attracts people who can add some useful features to the project. And when linux version reachs end-user state – it will be the time to port it to other platforms.

    Your project is for mobile devices only? I think, AR features may be used on netbook-based systems. Certainly, that’s the geek’s variant – but x86-compatible PCs becomes smaller and smaller (i.e. Viliv S5: http://www.myviliv.com/ces/main_s5.html) – and when your AR-soulution will be ready for end-user, I am sure, there will be appropriate devices on the market.

    Comment by Yana | 14, April, 2009

  4. My opinion about AR for netbooks is summarized here:
    And about smartphones – I hope that high-end smartphones can do markereless AR right now. Anyway most promising (in battery life terms) netbooks and highest-end snmartphoes have the same ARM CPU – OMAP 3*** I’m big ARM fan, I think it’s the only way for mobile devices.

    Comment by mirror2image | 14, April, 2009

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