Jan 4, 2019
Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
In recent years, tech consumers have begun using digital assistants to tap into the power and convenience of the internet. With a simple command, these devices can answer questions, control other IoT devices, call loved ones, play music, and more, making life more connected and convenient.
Now, an emerging class of these devices — the smart display — is providing the screen required to drive new use cases and deliver the visual experiences today’s users crave. Smart displays are an evolution of today’s digital smart assistants. They combine a voice UI for cloud assistants and speakers, and now, a camera, a touchscreen display, and a curated set of cloud apps and services — all in one device.
In powering many of these devices, Qualcomm Technologies continues to support new experiences for consumers, changing the way they interact with the connected world, receive their information, and connect and communicate with family and friends using its breakthrough technologies.
The smart display experience
Smart displays are creating curated experiences that haven’t been possible without a screen. Take the following scenario:
A user pulls up a new recipe as he begins cooking brunch. He’s decided to make Eggs Benedict, but he’s never poached an egg in his life. Luckily, he’s able to ask the device questions about the process, hands-free, while washing the greens for the salad. At the sound of his voice, the display automatically plays a video on how to master poaching. When the tutorial is done, the screen reverts to where he left off on the recipe, guiding him through the next step with voice prompts and instructions on screen.
Using simple voice commands, a smart display can be helpful in other ways as well. It can make video calls, give directions, play highlights from last night’s football game, and display the pics from your phone of your trip to Italy. Because the device runs on voice commands and touch, users can easily choose how to control its interface.
Facial recognition, powered by the on-device AI, can allow the smart display to recognize who is using it and provide a more convenient experience by personalizing content, music, lights, or volume based on the user. AI works with the display’s audio as well: With context-aware sound and sound detection, if the device hears glass breaking inside the home, it can send a notification to the owner.
Another great feature of smart displays is their ability to enable smart home automation. So, for example, you can use the display to connect to the devices around your home, adjust lights, control the thermostat, or check in on the kids upstairs — all without leaving the kitchen. The smart display also acts as a second screen in the home for both media viewing and smart home control purposes. It can provide a sense of security as well, connecting with your security camera to watch who’s coming and going and using AI to determine friend (the neighbor’s dog) or foe (a burglar) and then take the appropriate action.
There is a range of smart displays, some of which have already launched. Entry-level devices have smaller screens and only offer a color LCD touchscreen (up to 720p). Mid-level smart displays, like the Qualcomm Technologies-powered Lenovo Smart Display, LG Smart Display, and JBL Link View, have screens that can display vivid graphics at up to 1080p resolution. The Qualcomm Smart Display 200 Platform, using the Qualcomm APQ8053 System-on-Chip (SoC) with integrated GPU, is designed to support the HD graphics and video of these mid-level devices. High-tier devices can have 10-inch or greater displays, on-device AI, and 4K HDR playback for richer, more personalized user experiences.
More advanced smart displays that are making their debut this year and into next feature larger screens, integrated AI and machine learning technologies, and advanced audio processing. These devices can adjust and focus on the user with automatic zooming capabilities so everyone fits in the frame. They can also isolate background noises to help improve the video chat experience and provide premium sound. With scene classification, the display can adjust light brightness when someone is reading or working, or dim lights during a movie, or play songs and take pictures when there’s a party. The display can even identify and track real-world objects to facilitate interaction with apps or games.
The technology powering many of them
The different levels of Qualcomm Smart Display Platforms use processors created for a variety of user experiences. Each is purpose-built and features an integrated GPU, DSP, and CPU that work together for powerful edge computing at low power, without sacrificing performance. The Qualcomm Smart Display 100 Platform is built for entry-level smart displays, the Qualcomm Smart Display 200 Platform for mid-level devices, the Qualcomm Smart Display 300 and 400 Platforms for high tier devices.
Thanks to the growing adoption of AI-enabled assistants and advanced technology, the world is embracing the IoT, one device at a time. Soon, virtually everyone and everything will be intelligently connected. We can’t wait to witness the innovation that will follow.