Android Central @ CES

I'll admit it -- I've rolled my eyes and filled up my e-mail's trash can and the hundreds and hundreds of mentions of "augmented reality" -- that technology that uses your phone's camera and puts cool things on the screen, on top of real life. But maybe I've been looking at it all wrong. It's not all about goofy symbols and flashing signs for places to go and putting funny faces on people.

Qualcomm's showing off "Big Bird's Words" here at CES. The app uses the Qualcomm Vuforia system for an interesting way to help children expand their vocabulary. (We'll forget, for the moment, that you're letting your child play with an expensive smartphone here.) The idea is that the app puts a word on the screen, and your kid has to find that word somewhere in the house. Say, on that particular object. (There's no reason it couldn't also do the same with the object itself, we suppose, but this one's about the words.) Get it right, and Big Bird applauds you. Get it wrong and, well -- there are no losers here. C'mon, it's for kids!

The big deal here is that Vuforia has added word recognition to its stables. Big Bird is just one example, of course. Check out the demo video above, and imagine the possibilities.