Developer Blog

Developer of the month: Manoharan Ramachandran describes using Snapdragon processors in his road safety app, "Drowsy Driver"

Oct 10, 2016

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Meet Manoharan Ramachandran, our developer of the month for October. Manoharan is the creator of Drowsy Driver, a road safety app to keep drivers from falling asleep at the wheel. We talked to him about how Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors were a game-changer in the development of his app, and he also shared with us some of his innovative problem solving techniques!

With the help of his app, Manoharan gained funding for his PhD in England, and he is currently studying creative technology at Bournemouth University.

Tell us about you!
I focus on developing Android applications in the field of transportation. Right now I’m doing post-graduate research, working on providing safety frameworks for school transportation.

What are your plans?
I want to start my own company. I focus on real world problems and try to provide feasible and easy to implement solutions. That’s how I came up with the Drowsy Driver concept. I aim to create a company called ‘In-vehi-solutions’ to take the work further.

What advice would you give to other developers?
Take up a real world problem and try to provide a mobile app based solution. We are living in a world where smartphones have more computing power than NASA used to send people to the moon. So make use of the computing power that you have in your hand! The Snapdragon 820’s AnTuTu score will blow your mind.

The major advantage that you have when providing app based solutions is that you don’t need many resources to bring your product to commercialization. If you come up with an innovative idea to solve a real world problem through a mobile application, you will see success quickly. Just imagine — you have two products which provide you the same solution. One is an expensive gadget and another one is a cheap or free mobile application. Which one do you use? Or at least which one do you consider giving a try? I think we know the answer!

Share with us a fun fact about yourself
Well, if I am confused with any idea, to clear my mind I just get down on the floor and stand upside down. It gives me a dead silence, and makes me concentrate on a solution to my problem. Most of the time I come up with the solution before I put my legs down!

Where do you and your team get inspiration for your work?
Our country’s former president, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s India Vision 2020.

Who is your technology hero?
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, who was born in the same place as I was.

When enduring a long day, how do you stay energized? Energy drinks? Chocolate chip cookies? Power naps?
10 Pushups and 5 claps. Pushups speed up the blood flow and wakes up your body. Clapping activates the nerve in your hand and wakes your brain up.

Where do you see the IoT industry in 10 years?
It’s going to become one with our lifestyle. You will see IoT applications in almost all places and all sectors. It’s a game changer.

What Qualcomm technologies are featured in your projects?
Snapdragon Mobile Development Platform and Snapdragon SDK for Android.

In thinking about the Qualcomm technologies that you or your team uses in the development of your project or app, how did the specific Qualcomm product assist in the final development of your app?
Initially I was using OpenCV for Android to develop my application. But later on it placed a heavy processing load on the mobile and drained the battery. Then I came across Snapdragon SDK and I was like, “Snapdragon, you beauty!” It just blew my mind with how well it actually performed. I implemented my algorithm using the Snapdragon SDK and it worked like a charm. The load on the processor was no more than a normal camera app. That time I was using Snapdragon 420 and now I am using Snapdragon 820. Once you become a fan of Snapdragon processors, you will be a fan forever. Whenever I want to buy a new mobile phone, the first thing I look for is whether or not it has a Snapdragon processor!

Mike Roberts

Senior Director of Global Product Marketing

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Snapdragon Wear 2100 powers high-end fashion smartwatches at Baselworld

Silicon Valley met Switzerland at this year’s Baselworld, the world’s premier event for the watch and jewelry industry, which celebrated its 100th anniversary this year. Several impressive smartwatches made their debut, all touting the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 Platform and all powered by Android Wear 2.0. With this reliable platform and OS developed specifically for wearables, it’s no wonder high-end brands are looking beyond basic wearable functions, and combining style with technology to develop chic smartwatches fit for any lifestyle.

The superior SoC for smartwatches, Snapdragon Wear 2100, is an integrated, ultra-low power sensor hub. It’s 30 percent smaller than previous-generation wearable SoCs, allowing OEMs the freedom to develop thinner, sleeker product designs. And because it uses 25 percent less power than its older sibling (the Snapdragon 400), watchmakers can offer even more features and better designs.

The Snapdragon Wear 2100 comes in both tethered (Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) and connected (3G and 4G LTE) versions. The latter allows wearers to do more with their wearables, from streaming music to sending messages to calling a cab, in tandem with — or even without — having to bring their smartphones along.

Each of the touchscreen smartwatches included in this roundup run Android Wear 2.0, Google’s latest wearable operating system, and can pair with both iOS and Android phones. With Android Wear 2.0, users can personalize their watch faces with chronometer-style complications and create shortcuts to their favorite applications. In addition to the pre-installed Google Fit and calendar apps, more apps can be downloaded directly through the on-watch Google Play store, so wearers can customize their device to their lifestyle.

Android Wear 2.0 brings the Google Assistant to your wrist. Find answers and get things done even when your hands are full. Reply to a friend, set a reminder, or ask for directions. Just hold the power button or say “OK Google”.

Check out the some of Snapdragon Wear powered smartwatches that made a splash at this year’s Baselworld:

Apr 18, 2017

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Hardware-software convergence: Key skills to consider

Hardware-software convergence, or how hardware and software systems are working more closely together, illustrates how each are empowering (and sometimes literally powering) the other. And in our current development environment, this is happening more than ever. Of course, deep technical skills will be of the utmost importance to navigate this technological trend, but it is also the soft skills we apply to our engineering practices that are as important in determining our success.

What skills do developers need to nurture, and how do you put them to good use? In this piece, we’ll cover three soft skills developers can use to stay ahead of the hardware-software convergence, and share resources to help you grow and maintain those skills.

Creative inspiration

First off: Creative Inspiration. While it’s easy to identify your technical shortcomings and fill those gaps with training and practice, knowing which soft skills to hone can be a lot more complicated. In fact, you could even think of these soft skills as “mindsets,” since they’re more about how you approach a problem instead of just being a tool you use to solve it. For this first skill, it will be important to start approaching challenges antidisciplinarily, rather than relying on existing mental frameworks. That’s what being creative is all about – finding new ways of doing things.

So where do you start? Ask yourself this question: What is the dent you want to make in the universe? Begin from a place of passion – think about what problems and projects keep you up at night, and what issues big or small you want to solve.

Then, understand that creative inspiration is a process. What seems like overnight genius is often the result of many erroneous attempts (ex: Thomas Edison’s 1,000 or so attempts in creating the lightbulb) and then having the fortitude to gain deeper understanding of an issue to then apply your imagination. We particularly like the design thinking method, which encourages starting from a place of inspired empathy and developing knowledge through lean prototyping and iteration. The Stanford D.School has a Bootcamp Bootleg that you can download for a quick start guide to this design framework.

Apr 17, 2017

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