While the Apple iPad Tablet announcement last month was disappointing for augmented reality developers and enthusiasts, the details about the upcoming Dell Tablet will make you salivate.

The Mini 5 will have a five inch touchscreen with both front and user facing cameras allowing full augmented reality capabilities.  WiFi and 3G connectivity allow enough bandwidth and the 1.0 GHz Snapdragon Qualcomm processor will give the Mini 5 the juice it needs to power resource-expensive AR apps.  It’ll run the latest version of the Android OS which gives it AR credentials right away since there are many apps already made for that system.

The price plan will affect the market that it’s trying to fill, though Dell says they will price it “competitively”.  But I don’t think I could have asked for better features from a tablet for augmented reality.  The weight of the device might impact AR since holding it up will be harder than a smartphone and since it’s a touchscreen, will you want to hold it with one hand and navigate with the other?  I hope some AR developers can incorporate voice commands into their games and products.

And while the screen might be too small in this version, they have eluded to a suite of tablet products so maybe a larger iPad sized version might come out in the future.  Personally, I already have a free smartphone from work, so a tablet that does different things on a bigger screen would be appealing to me.

Will this be a killer device for AR?  Probably not.  But it’ll give developers a bigger landscape to play on and increase the number of AR devices on the market.  The front facing camera certainly makes is a no-brainer for video conferencing.  Just add some facial recognition and you can talk to your kids while out on the road with bunny ears attached to your head.

[Via Wired]


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.

  • I am SO there! Here is where brand loyalty pays off for me. I’ve always trusted the Dell brand in any machine I’ve used of theirs. From my first used desktop, a GX100, to my current Inspiron laptop. Tech support is a seperate issue. You literally get what you pay for. I don’t subscribe to the support services. But then most of my problems I’ve been able to solve myself from their website.

    I’ve been fighting the draw of the Nexus One, primarily due to price. And now I’m glad I did. I really don’t need another phone. But I definately need something more than an iPod Touch. Until a company perfects AR glasses, the Mini 5 is going to be my next machine!!!!

  • I’m a fan of Dell and of Google, so the Mini 5 fits in my niche as well. I’m seriously thinking about getting one when it comes out. Fitting in my pocket will be a concern though. 🙂

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