OnQ Blog

CES 2018: 3 things to watch for

Jan 9, 2018

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

This week more than 170,000 techies converge in Las Vegas for one of the industry’s biggest annual events — CES.

Not surprisingly, Qualcomm will be there, and not just in our own booth. Our inventions, products, and technologies are found in products throughout the show floor, from consumer electronics to cars to the mobile devices that are setting the path to 5G. If you’re at CES, or just love tech, here are three things that are worth watching:

1. The importance of 5G and mobile technologies

5G is coming, and it’s coming quickly. Qualcomm expects commercial launches of 5G to begin in 2019. We’ve been developing the underlying technology for 5G for nearly a decade, and now we are working with industry leaders across the globe to accelerate the path to 5G through continued standards leadership, through ongoing prototype efforts, through real-world 5G trials, and of course the announcement of our first 5G modem. And although it’s still in development, you can already see the impact that high-throughput, low-latency connections are going to have on the way products are designed.

For an example, consider automobiles. While CDs (remember those?) were great for entertainment and high-quality sound and music, 4G LTE connected cars are even better, giving you streaming music, the latest traffic information, and Internet connectivity. There’s also Cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X) technology, but more on that later.

Another example is virtual and augmented realities. VR and AR experiences only get better when they’re paired with mobile technologies — and even better with 5G. VR and AR games are compelling, but what if automobile passengers could stream content while on the move. Or what if you could share an experience from a live venue with others? The use cases are limitless, and they’ll be made possible only with mobile technologies. Check out this standalone VR headset announced today.

During CES, we encourage you to experience all the things made better by mobile technologies — smartphones, mobile PC’s, tablets, connected cars, smart speakers, wearables, etc. Then try to imagine those things without mobile connectivity. It’s just not the same, and in some cases, not possible.

2. The proliferation of connected cars and the promise of autonomous vehicles

In recent years, CES has become a showcase for auto manufacturers as much as electronic gadgets. Today’s automobiles are essentially mobile computers on wheels. And they’re becoming ever-more connected.

Qualcomm is well established in automotive tech from telematics to infotainment to connectivity and wireless EV charging. Virtually every automaker with a connected car program uses our modem tech. This is a growing field it's expected that by 2024, three quarters of new vehicles will feature embedded cellular.

In our continuing tradition of partnering with the automotive industry, we’re announced a number of collaborations at this year’s CES.

Beyond facilitating infotainment and telematics, 5G innovations will be used to make transportation safer. Qualcomm is driving the commercialization of C-V2X, which will enable vehicles to be aware of their surroundings via wireless communications with other vehicles, pedestrians, and the surrounding infrastructure. Our first C-V2X chip announced in September will begin shipping in the second half of the year with multiple trials worldwide. Not only will C-V2X tech make our roads safer in the near future, it will lay the groundwork for the fully autonomous vehicles to come.

3. The flourishing IoT ecosystem

From wearables to smart homes to smart cities, the Internet of Things, or IoT, will bring meaningful disruption to many industries. It’s also a category that is particularly ripe for mobile connectivity and soon, 5G.

When it comes to helping industries imagine and commercialize new IoT products, Qualcomm is uniquely positioned. We have decades of experience transforming once-unimaginable features into business realities and can tap our vast portfolio of networking, computing, and security solutions to meet the sector’s specific needs.

For example, this year we introduced a low-power Bluetooth audio SoC series for wireless earbuds and hearables. This platform will enable compact, feature-rich hearables with advanced functionality, including longer playback, augmented hearing, enhanced listening, and support for context- and location-aware virtual assistants.

We also announced a partnership with Amazon to create the Qualcomm Smart Audio Platform, to facilitate rapid commercialization of smart speakers and networked audio devices.

In addition, the Smart Audio Platform boasts key features such as multi-mic far field voice, always-ready wake-word detections, Hi-Fi audio playback and processing, Qualcomm AllPlay for whole-home synced audio.

This new breed of connected smart speakers will do more than play music or vocalize web queries, it will act as a central hub to all the connected things in your home. That’s why we also announced two new Qualcomm Home Hub platforms, which will bring AI capabilities to all types of smart devices, including thermostats, appliances, home monitoring cameras, and more.

To that end, we aren’t only helping manufacturers make their IoT products smart, we're helping them make smart IoT products smarter. Innovations such as on-device AI move much of the heavy computing necessary for advanced AI from the Cloud to “the edge,” allowing for lower latency, increased security, and greater power efficiency.

On-device AI is already being used to make smartphones more useful (advanced AR, versatile digital assistants, secure biometrics), but it can also help optimize (and secure) the connected tech in our homes. At this year’s CES, we’ll be announcing a number of AI-enabled platforms, which will allow OEMs to bring advanced intelligence to everything from wearables to smart speakers to cars.

Come by our booth

Want to know more? Visit us @ CES 2018 in the Central Hall Booth 10948 and our Automotive technologies in the North Hall Booth 5616.

Qualcomm Home Hub Platform is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Qualcomm Smart Audio Platform is a product of Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd.