The PlayStation Vita's current augmented reality mini-games may be anchored to a handful of marker cards, but it doesn't have to be that way. Front and center at Sony's GDC booth was "Magnet," a developer tech demo that shows off the next generation handheld's markerless chops. The application maps out the texture and patterns to create its own marker, which would allow developers to create more natural AR experiences that won't burden players with the hassle of carrying around marker cards. Sony says the tech demo won't be evolving into a full game, but hopes it will inspire developers to build something new and exciting for the handheld. Although staff on hand couldn't say for sure that this is an off-shoot of Sony's SmartAR technology, we think it looks awfully familiar.

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Sony shows off PlayStation Vita's augmented reality chops at GDC, leaves the AR marker cards at home