Remember Sony's SmartAR? The markerless AR technology that promises reality augmentation without the need for unsightly tattoos? It's back again, showing itself once more after an all-too-brief 48 hour layoff. A new live-demo shows Sony's markerless object recognition system focusing on posters, tables, books, and coffee cups in lieu of the traditional AR card -- allowing it recognize multiple objects at once. Focusing on objects rather than markers allow augmented entities to interact more naturally with their environment. For instance, bouncing AR balls plummet off the edge of a table, and realistically ricochet off of a book placed in their path. Objects don't even need to remain on screen, as demonstrated by an AR pop-up menu that remained viewable even after the object-marker that spawned it left the viewer's field of vision. Sony seems to have built the groundwork of an augmented reality system that might actually be useful -- pair this up with a set of swank AR glasses (or better yet, holographic AR glasses), and we'll have a vision of the future we can really look forward to.

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Sony's SmartAR demoed live, raises the bar for augmented reality (video)