OnQ Blog

Invention, art and magic [VIDEO]

May 27, 2015

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

Invention can take many forms. Here at Qualcomm, the word instantly pops up images of labs and engineers and code and silicon. (We’re geeks and we’re proud of it.) But the most meaningful inventions aren’t judged by their specs. They’re judged by how well they help us advance, and communicate with each other in more meaningful ways.

A great invention is a thing of beauty, a little like art—and a little like magic.

We’re celebrating that wonder at The Code Conference this week. We’ve invited three inventors—a magician, an artist, and an astronomer—to show us how Qualcomm inventions, art and science can work together to create something amazing. We call it the Inventor Lab: A Collaboration with inventors and Qualcomm.

Cyber-illusionist Marco Tempest takes cutting-edge technology and augments it with illusion “to make it do things that it might not quite do yet,” he says.

You’ve seen hocus pocus before, but not like his. Tempest uses old-fashioned legerdemain combined with Qualcomm Vuforia augmented reality (AR) to create magical 3D scenarios.

Why use technology at all? It allows Tempest to “do magical things, which hopefully are just magical enough so people might talk about them,” he says. Vuforia, specifically, “enhances the experience [because of] the flexibility and fluidity it brings,” he says.

Tempest will be joined at Code by Lucy McRae, who describes herself as a “science fiction artist, director, and body architect.” Her project will give participants a “synthesized hug” in the “arms” of what looks something like a giant silver balloon. Then it will measure how the embrace affects them.

McRae will be capturing participants’ biometric data, via a pulse oximeter, before and after their experience. She wanted to use a wireless system, so as not to interrupt the ambiance. So she set her system up through Qualcomm Life’s 2net platform, which makes the process work simply and doesn’t interrupt the experience.

Finally, Open Space Agency founder James Parr wanted to find out whether amateur astronomers could contribute to and participate in pro-level astronomy. For that purpose, he developed the Ultrascope—a 3D-printable, open-source automated robotic observatory that’s powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets. In his Re/code demo, Ultrascopes will show live, high-resolution image sequences of the southern African sky that are transmitted wirelessly over a 4G LTE network.

“There are many reasons why Snapdragon is the right technology for the Ultrascope,” says Parr. He cites the processor’s powerful CPU for handling large volumes of data and running parallel tasks, low heat, long battery life, built-in GPS and much more: “a full range of technologies, which incredibly, are bundled within one device.”

Qualcomm’s Inventor Lab brings to the forefront the inventors behind the inventions, to inspire and energize creators around capabilities of mobile and connectivity technologies.

Check back into our Why Wait Tumblr page for updates from the show.


Qualcomm Vuforia is a product of Qualcomm Connected Experiences, Inc.  2net is a product of Qualcomm Life, Inc.  Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.


Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

The OnQ Team