I’m back after two days at our Uplinq™ developer conference to San Francisco last week. We had a conference packed full of sessions, demos and networking that touched on a combination of topics and platforms that was rare even by Bay Area standards. I’ll recap some of the highlights for those of you that were unable to join us in San Francisco.
The New Network Edge
Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf delivered the first keynote address, encouraging developers to look to the New Network Edge as the next frontier of innovation.
“If you look at the Internet today,” Steve asked, “where are the really interesting things happening? Because of the smartphone, they’ve gone from the desktop to your pocket. With wearable computing, devices will be connected not only to the smartphone, but also to one another. Innovation will occur at the edge of the Internet, where all these devices come together.”
Steve announced the availability of the LTE Broadcast SDK, a toolkit for integrating services like streaming video and file delivery to your apps. Jay Parikh, Vice President of Infrastructure Engineering at Facebook, came on stage to describe his company’s longstanding collaboration with Qualcomm. Parikh looks forward to the potential for using LTE Broadcast to easily deliver Facebook mobile app updates to hundreds of millions of devices worldwide.
The keynotes included demonstrations and announcements of other technologies, including:
Wearables – Steve underscored the new kinds of innovation possible where computing power and connectivity meet in consumer devices. He displayed five commercially available smartwatches from manufacturers like LG and Timex that are based on Qualcomm® processors.
Mobile vision – Jay Wright announced the Vuforia SDK for Digital Eyewear, used to power eyewear demonstrations from Epson, ODG and Samsung.
Robotics – In one demo, a robot powered by Snapdragon sorted toys autonomously. Another Snapdragon powered robot from Brain Corporation used the Brain Operating System to learn from and respond to a human trainer in real time. Chad Sweet of Qualcomm Research announced availability of a kit for the 3D-printed Snapdragon Micro Rover.
So, what else is out at that New Network?
The Meshy World
“The edges of the network are meshy,” explained Rob Chandhok, SVP Qualcomm Technologies and president of Qualcomm Interactive Platforms, in his keynote address. “What will the Internet of Things look like with so many moving parts? You can’t predict who’s going to be in which room, where your car will be or which devices in your house will best interact.”
Rob referred to the Web and how far it has come, saying that we have to get the edge of the network to where the Web is now. The platform on which we build has to be as open as HTTP, so that developers can run their ideas at the edge of the network. Rob discussed how AllJoyn™ is an open source project supported by Qualcomm and more than 60 other companies through the AllSeen Alliance, and gives everyone an opportunity to innovate.
Rob’s main takeaway: “Don’t assume that the edge of network is dumb. Think about the mesh at the edge, how much intelligence you can put out there, and what it will do to the experiences you’re going to create.”
The Next Mobile Beyond
On the technology front, Raj Talluri, SVP of product management, outlined the “Next Mobile Beyond,” four areas in which Qualcomm technologies are advancing:
Cameras – Pelican Imaging demonstrated its 3D depth print made from an array camera powered by Snapdragon. Users can scan a 3D image of a physical object, then send it to a 3D printer and print it out.
Audio – What if your phone were always listening? Qualcomm is building context awareness into its Snapdragon Sense voice activation technology while trimming power consumption. Raj demonstrated an app combining Snapdragon Sense with music recognition app Shazam to build a playlist from tunes heard throughout the day.
Gaming – With the Adreno™ GPU on Snapdragon, the line between the mobile and console gaming experience is blurring. Activision demonstrated its Skylanders Trap Team game, which brings the entire high-definition, console experience to tablets.
Processors – Raj whetted the audience’s appetite for the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 810 processor, with the Adreno 430 GPU, 64-bit processing, 3x20MHz carrier aggregation and 4K AVC/HEVC capture and playback. The processor is now sampling and will be available commercially in 2015
Networking and More
We also held our annual Market Match, pairing developers with more than a dozen content providers, like Amazon, AT&T, Facebook, HTC, LG, Oracle, Samsung and Sony. As usual, the quick pitches gave developers a rare chance to get their ideas in front of companies striving to improve the user experience.
Finally, we hosted the Qualcomm Developer Lounge where developers could drop by to relax, recharge and refuel.
All of that, and attendees received some swag, including an Amazon Fire TV. What more could a developer want?
Keep an eye out for videos from all of the sessions and over the next few weeks, you’ll see my blog posts on several of the most popular sessions, so subscribe to the Qualcomm Developer Network blog for updates.