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will the HP Slate be a killer AR device?

Monday, April 5th, 2010
The HP Slate in live video mode

The HP Slate in live video mode

Augmented reality enthusiasts and developers got the shaft (again) from Apple when the iPad launched without an integrated camera, thus becoming a dead platform for AR purposes. Well it looks like the little ├é┬ácomputer company on the other side of Hwy 280 might pull a little auggie magic out of their hat, just in time for the AR summer of love in Silicon Valley. HP has been teasing their forthcoming Slate for a few months, and they just posted another video clip that clearly shows live video from a forward-facing camera. We already know the slate will run Windows 7, and we have heard public rumblings about Android from various quarters, so it’s likely to be reasonably developer-friendly.

With the horsepower to run object recognition and tracking plus high quality 3D graphics, the Slate will definitely blur the line between webcam AR and mobile AR experiences. You know all those marker-based AR toys that feel so gimmicky when you have to use them in front of a PC with a webcam? I guarantee they are going to seem 1000% cooler when you pull out your Magic Internet Magnifying Glass and look through it into an alternate universe. And if the Slate ends up shipping with a GPS and digital compass, just watch all the mobile AR guys scrambling to learn Win7 and Silverlight. Oh yeah SLAR toolkit dude, better get a bigger server ;-)