Last summer, 13th Lab released an augmented reality game called Ball Invasion that utilized a 3D tracking technology called SLAM (short for simultaneous localization and mapping) — and now it's making the tech available to other iOS developers through the PointCloud software development kit. In addition to SLAM, which was previously used by robots to map their environment, the SDK also includes support for 3D rendering and physics, as well as image recognition. The same features are also being incorporated into PointCloud's iOS browser, so that developers can create web pages with JavaScript and HTML that can find and track images quickly.

The PointCloud tech seems to have a pretty wide range of uses — not only is there a 3D AR game, but there's also a demo in the iOS browser that can interact with images in a specifically designed PDF. Hovering over an image in the demo can open up links, slideshows, and videos on your phone, though we found that you needed to hold pretty still for your phone to recognize the images. Whether or not developers will gravitate towards PointCloud remains to be seen, but the increasing availability of these AR SDKs should at least help the technology gain more widespread use.