Can Google’s G1 do augmented reality better then the iPhone?

The iPhone hype still rules the augmented reality devices charts, but as Walter Mossberg claims in his in-depth test drive:

that will all change on Oct. 22, when T-Mobile and Google bring out the G1, the first hand-held computer that’s in the same class as Apple’s iPhone.

Google's G1

iPhone

TechCrunch has its own view on the comparison.

Here’s my quick comparison of the two devices through an augmented reality lens:

They both have similar screen quality (480×320 65K color), a nice touch screen, similar CPU speed, GPU for graphics acceleration, accelerometers for sensing movement, and are both in the under $200 price category.

G1’s Screen size is reportedly narrower than the iPhone (3.2” compared with 3.5”) yet is bulkier (weighs 5.6 ounces to 4.7) and is much thicker; but it has a better camera resolution (3.1 mp compared with 2mp), though similar to iPhone – it can’t record video.

A downside for developers is the very low memory allocated for third party apps (128 megabytes) and the 1G storage space (expandable up to 8GB) which would seriously limit/irritate developers.

On the positive side it has 5 buttons, a real keyboard (you care?), a compass… and most importantly it’s built on Android, an open (yet unproven) Operating System  – which means easier to adapt for the specific needs of augmented reality applications. On the flip side, some developers hate the restriction that comes with Android: program in Java.

Bottom line, these are worthy competitors – each with its own advantages and caveats.  The real winner will be determined, as always, based on whoever offers the best content and the best reality experiences.

Remember WIFI ARMY? It was a very promising AR game for Android (made it to the #7 spot in my top 10 AR demos). But they went silent…their website is down. If you see something – say something.

2 Responses

  1. Well, I dont see why anyone should complain about Java. Its a wonderfull to code in :)
    (and if googles web-kit is anything to go by, Google doa great job of API libs)

    This shocked me though;

    “, though similar to iPhone – it can’t record video.”

    Whats so hard about video?!
    Seems to be a major draw back to these devices.

    Any cheap-arse webcam can do 800×600 25fps video , and I’m sure the CMOS chips in them cost just a few follars these days.
    Guess it must be some ram-speed issue or something :-/
    But really thats going to hurt AR development if we are stuck with jerky framerates at even the basic video-input level.

  2. […] gave rise to a flood of new AR-worthy mobile devices: iPhone 3G (see below), Android based G1, Itelco’s IDOL, HTC’s Touch HD, Blackberry’s Storm, Nokia N97… It also […]

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