December 15, 2009

Nexus One Will Take Augmented Reality To The Next Level

by Thomas K. Carpenter in augmented reality9 Comments

The details about the recently “dogfooded” smartphone from Google called the Nexus One have been surfacing more rapidly than a fart in the bathtub.  For most the buzz centers around the Nexus One’s rumoured untethered bachelor lifestyle or potential $99 price, but I found the more interesting nugget of information to be the Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm.


The Snapdragon processor has 1GHz processor and onboard graphics and claims to produce 22 million triangles per second.  Compare this to the iPhone which only produces 7 million triangles per second (see this comparison chart for more details.)  Now we’re still way outside the realms of the desktop processors which light up screens at 60 million to 300 million triangles per second, but we’ve passed the old GameCube which ran at 12 million triangles per second



The Nexus One will also sport a 5 Megapixel flash camera with 720p HD recording possible.  With the Android OS2.1 open API access to video, augmented reality will look better on the Nexus One than the sorry old iPhone and do so without all the annoying limitations from the Apple app store. 

While the Nexus One is still a smartphone and limited by its small screen (aka “Magic Lens”); its better graphics, higher processing speeds, open OS and improved camera will make augmented reality work and look better.  The real breakthroughs will come with a cheap HMD, but until then I think the Nexus One with the Snapdragon processor will help augmented reality take another step toward wide usage.


Thomas K. Carpenter

Thomas K. Carpenter is a full time contemporary fantasy author with over 50 independently published titles. His bestselling, multi-series universe, The Hundred Halls, has over 25 books and counting. His stories focus on fantastic families, magical academies, and epic adventures.

  • Tom

    Great insight on the Nexus One. I too am convinced that if Google prices the device to be affordable, it will make a huge impact as I know many people are frustrated with ATT’s service.

    The fact that it may have much more superior processor, better graphics, and the Android 2.1 OS, AR apps will have a sweet home.

    – cosmin

  • If the Nexus One really does come in at $99 with reasonable monthly rates, then we’ll ditch my wife’s iPhone for one. The AR superiority will be a bonus.

  • Thanks for your insights, Thomas. I’m keeping a close eye on the Android market as I’m looking to add one as a second phone (in addition to my iPhone).

    For AR, the HMD is where it’s at.


  • @Chris

    We’re looking to ditch the iPhone when our contract runs out. Hoping that the Nexus One is out by then AND is all that I’m hoping it is.

    But definately, waiting for a real HMD.

  • Thanks for the info. It will be interesting to see this things in person. A 1 ghz snapdragon sounds awesome. I’ve been wanting an android phone and this seems to be the one I’m looking to add but unfortunately I can’t because I want to stay on my AT&T 3G network and the N1 doesn’t support it. : (

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