Qualcomm reboots Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots

Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots were one of the coolest toys of the 80s and 90s. I remember pulling the old box down from the shelf and setting up the plastic-y perfect robots for battle, going head-to-head until one of the robots’ heads literally popped off.  

This week at CES, Qualcomm has shown that augmented reality can breathe new life into the classic 80s game.

Representing Qualcomm’s effort to bring augmented reality into the mobile gaming space, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em robots comes to life when a user holds a Nexus One mobile phone over a special piece of paper. 

Suddenly, the robots spring to life on the mobile phone’s screen.

Qualcomm is so determined that AR is the next big thing for mobile and mobile gaming, it’s launching an AR game studio and sponsoring a $200,000 developer challenge.  

Qualcomm is also releasing a free software development kit to prompt gamers to build their own AR games.

Augmented reality Candy Land?! One can only hope.

Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots was born out of a partnership between Qualcomm and Mattel to built the “proof-of-concept” game using the software developer kit.

It’s been said that games like these will only make money if available across platforms, which may be why Qualcomm engineered a makeshift three player gaming demo. 

To be sure, one player ran the game using a Nexus One over Bluetooth, a Nokia N900 over WiFi and a Dell Latitude laptop.