CES 2017 Day 3: Qualcomm Aims To Connect Everything With 5G

Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm, took the stage at CES this morning to walk us through the ambitious plans the company has for developing and implementing 5G connectivity to power immersive experiences, connecting everything, and transforming industries such as transportation and healthcare. According to a study on the “5G Economy” the company conducted, 5G-related goods and services will generate over $12 trillion in value in 2035 and create over 22 million jobs worldwide.

Powering Immersive Experiences On 5G
In November. Qualcomm unveiled their newest processing chip called  Snapdragon 835, which the company now hopes will work with the 5G network it is building to enable a better and smoother immersive experiences on desktop and mobile devices. The higher data speeds enabled in 5G means faster downloads, which is essential in improving untethered VR experiences. Qualcomm is also working with other media partners to develop VR and AR experiences powered by its processor. The company previewed a Power Ranger-themed VR experience it developed with Lionsgate, as well as a shaper VR livestream of NBA matches that NextVR will be able to deliver over 5G connectivity.

 screen-shot-2017-01-06-at-12-31-38-pm-2Connecting Everything To Build A Smart Future
The enhanced connectivity provided by 5G networks will also enable us turn everyday objects into connected devices. And since the 5G connection will be strong enough to carry a city-wide worth of utility and infrastructure devices, it would bring to life the kind of smart cities that some technologists have envisioned where those connected devices communicate with each other to share data and offer the city dwellers perks of convenience and safety. 

screen-shot-2017-01-06-at-12-41-16-pm-2Transforming Industries With Next-Level Connectivity
Perhaps most importantly, 5G networks, coupled with powerful processors capable of handling that accelerated connectivity, will transform various industries ranging from healthcare to transportation by enabling new tools such as autonomous drones and industrial IoT networks. For example, Qualcomm is working with healthcare companies such as UnitedHealthcare, Novartis, and Philips to create a healthcare network that securely connects medical and healthcare devices over 5G. The faster speed brought by 5G will also be instrumental in the development of connected cars and self-driving cars, according to Qualcomm, which in turn will bring major disruptions for the auto and transportation industries. 

screen-shot-2017-01-06-at-12-55-21-pm-2Key Takeaways For Brands
These innovations that Qualcomm is working to unleash with 5G network will usher in a new reality for consumers and brands, where new immersive formats become the norm, instant connectivity is expected everywhere, and AI-powered automation and data analysis running in the background quietly improves services and customer experiences. To get ready for that future, brands will need to start exploring immersive media formats such as VR and AR to build up their content catalogue, adopt a data-centric omnichannel approach in designing your customer experience to ensure that it stays consistent across platforms, and begin to think about how your brand may incorporate machine learning and AI automation into your products and services to deliver a better customer experience.

Qualcomm’s AllSeen Alliance Unifies Internet Of Things

The power of the internet of things is that these objects can talk to each other. In the connected home, your lightbulbs turn off because they are aware that the door has shut or your oven just received a cooking instructions from a recipe you saw on TV. The power is in the connectivity which has long been a promise of the future of the home, albeit a mostly unrealized one.

Enter the AllSeen Alliance. The consortium, spearheaded by Qualcomm, aims to create an open framework that lets device communicate to one another. The beauty of the Alliance is that it is device agnostic and works across various forms of communication, whether they be bluetooth, NFC, wifi or Zigbee. With a large player like Qualcomm in the mix, expect some serious advancements in the connected home space in the coming year.   

Qualcomm’s Internet Of Everything

One of the many interesting technologies presented here at Mobile World Congress by Qualcomm is their section they dubbed the Internet of Everything. They are promoting their recent experiments with the AllJoyn platform, that allows devices using their chips to communicate easily with eachother. The AllJoyn project is an open source project, but Qualcomm has dived head first into supporting it. It is meant to integrate with many different types of platforms, including Linux, Android and Windows Phone.

In an imagined use case, you would buy a coffee maker and take it home. It would have the applicable Qualcomm chipset in it and would be labelled as supporting AllJoyn. Through a to-be-determined process, you would pair it with your phone or tablet, and then be able to control it. You could remotely order it to start brewing, tell it how strong to make the coffee, and alert you when it’s done. The coffee maker could also then turn on the TV when it finishes brewing or pull up the New York Times website on your tablet.

A brand opportunity could be to build a branded app that interfaces with these appliances. So for instance, Folgers could sponsor a special Coffee-control app that does something special and on-brand for them.

There are no devices that support this framework out on the market currently, but apparently there will be a couple home appliances launching sometime this year which support AllJoyn. In the meantime Qualcomm continues to push innovation with this budding standard.

Google just changed the wireless game

Google changes the game for mobile (Google)At the Android press event this morning, Google turned the wireless industry on its head.  On the surface, it looked like Google only introduced a new (albeit very slick) phone, the NexusOne.  But below the surface, there’s a lot more going on.

The centerpiece of the event was the Nexus One phone.  Slightly thinner and lighter than the iPhone, the Nexus One boasts a 1GHz Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm (the fastest mobile phone processor on the market), a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, dual microphones for noise cancellation, and my favorite bit of all, a 3.7 inch 480×800 OLED screen.  This phone is a powerhouse, and while some in the industry are looking at the current carrier exclusivity of T-mobile (currently the 4th place carrier in the US), it makes a lot more sense when one considers that they just upgraded their network to 7.2 Mbps 3G, twice the speed of AT&T’s current network.

But this barely scratches the surface.  Continue reading “Google just changed the wireless game”