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Qualcomm bringing augmented reality SDK to Apple's iOS


Qualcomm is bringing its augmented reality software development kit to Apple's iOS in order to expose the tool to more developers.

According to a report by Wall Street Journal blogger Ina Fried, the company originally developed its augmented reality SDK for Android, with the objective of encouraging developers to make processor intensive apps.

That in turn was hoped to create a demand for faster chips, as many Android models are based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon application processors. While Apple doesn't use Qualcomm's CPUs in its iPhone and iPad, the company hopes to broaden the use of its toolkit by addressing iOS, which continues to attract prime attention from developers.

Speaking at a conference yesterday, Qualcomm's Jay Wright said, "Android was a logical starting point because of developer momentum and Snapdragon penetration. Moving forward we will support additional operating systems.”

While augmented reality apps already exist on Apple's iOS platform, the new Qualcomm development tools promise to make it easier for developers to create new titles. The new tools will be available to iOS developers in July.

Qualcomm has also sponsored development challenges, paying winning entries between $50,000 and $125,000 last year. The first place prize was awarded to an augmented reality game named Paparazzi by Lithuanian developer Pixel Punch.

That company's co-founder, Paulius Liekis, was pleased to see Qualcomm porting its tools to iOS, noting that Apple's platform offers a better return for developers compared to Android Market. iOS users "appreciate good content,” Liekis said. “On Android, consumers are different. They do not want to pay.”

Second place prize winner Morgan Jaffit, who created the game Inch High Stunt Guy (shown below), also noted that the move was "fantastic for us because it opens up a market."

A student team from USC that won third place in Qualcomm's contest also said that it was looking forward to bring its Danger Coper game to the iOS App Store. "Definitely it motivates us so much more to finish it up," grad student Kedar Reddy said.