OnQ Blog

From idea to product: How smart platforms grow the IoT ecosystem

Qualcomm Technologies’ platforms can help manufacturers deliver Internet of Things products quickly and cost-effectively

20 Dec 2016

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

While many companies speak about enabling an Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, Qualcomm Technologies has been helping build it for years. With decades of experience evolving mobile technologies, along with our breadth of trusted connectivity and compute solutions, we’ve purpose-built more than two dozen platforms and reference designs that are engineered to help our customers — especially those who are new to IoT — develop connected products.

The IoT doesn’t rely on one technology, and neither do the platforms in our unique and expansive IoT portfolio. Instead, our unmatched IoT suite takes advantage of the full scope of mobile solutions, including LTE, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi for connectivity, and CPU, GPU, DSP, camera, and multimedia engines for computing.

While the IoT offers enormously beneficial opportunities to manufacturers, it’s also fraught with a litany of vexing technology challenges. Developing connected products entails diverse and rapidly changing connectivity and compute requirements, price and competitive pressures, data growth, the need for interoperability, security and privacy requirements, and thousands of unique form factors and verticals.

For example, if you’re a watchmaker that wants to pivot to produce smartwatches, how do you develop the requisite expertise in connectivity, computing, and software needed to overcome these challenges? The answer is that your business doesn’t need to be burdened with these concerns and crippling costs. That’s because Qualcomm Technologies offers 25+ smart, high-quality reference platforms that can help our customers make a broad range of IoT products by accelerating time-to-commercialization and optimizing cost.

In a reference implementation/design, we aim to bring together all of the key hardware and software components for a particular IoT product or segment. Customers can take these reference designs and adjust them to build their products without incurring the significant R&D and engineering time and costs that come with building a solution from scratch.

One of our reference platforms, Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear, has allowed fashion watch companies, like Fossil and Nixon, to evolve into smartwatch manufacturers. Another, Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight, gave Zero Zero Robotics the advanced processing and real-time flight control to make the Hover Camera, its self-flying drone camera.

Elsewhere, our reference platforms are being used to accelerate the development and adoption of a number of connected products. In VR, Pico is using the Snapdragon VR820 reference platform in its Neo headset to drive vital features like eye-tracking, dual front-facing cameras for six degrees of freedom (6DOF), and a motion-to-photon latency that’s less than 18 ms.

To propel the development of smart home solutions, we’ve tapped into our tech portfolio to craft home-control and automation platforms that support multiple ecosystems — Apple HomeKit, Google Weave, Amazon Web Services (AWS) IoT, and Alljoyn/OCF — for increased interoperability. Our Smart Home reference platforms, which incorporate some of our key technologies, like 4G LTE, Wi-Fi (2G and 5G), Bluetooth, CSRMesh, Power Line Communications (PLC), and Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, help significantly reduce product development cycles by offering comprehensive platforms and turn-key solutions that include cloud services support. Qualcomm Technologies’ platforms are incorporated into a variety of commercial products in the intelligent home, including lightbulbs, thermostats, appliances, hubs/gateways, and security devices.

When it comes to audio, Qualcomm Technologies offers ready-to-use, comprehensive voice and music platforms like the Bluetooth speaker platform, soundbar platform, and Qualcomm AllPlay smart media platform, which give our customers more time to focus on their core audio expertise. All of the platforms are designed to support advanced and highly differentiating features such as our acclaimed Qualcomm aptX audio codec, Qualcomm TrueWireless stereo for high-quality audio on wireless earbuds, and Qualcomm DDFA audio amplifier for powerful sound.

For those use cases and customer requirements where our purpose-built platforms are not the right fit, our Qualcomm Snapdragon embedded solutions address a broad mix of consumer, enterprise, and industrial categories. Based on the Snapdragon 600E and 410E processors, the Snapdragon embedded offerings include development boards, commercial-ready modules, and the discrete processors for chip on-board designs.

Already, off-the-shelf modules based on the 600E and 410E processors are making a difference in IoT design cycles. For instance, a module based on the 600E is powering Fujifilm’s SonoSite iViz portable ultrasound, and the 410E is being used in Intrinsyc’s wearable camera reference design for law enforcement, fire safety, and emergency medical response.

We are working closely with customers across many verticals on existing and future platforms that can make it easier to bring their ideas and products to life quickly and at a cost that works for their business.

Qualcomm aptX, Qualcomm DDFA, and Qualcomm TrueWireless Stereo are products of Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear, and Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.