Snapdragon Blog

Avoid a dead battery on your guys night out with BatteryGuru

Jun 27, 2013

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

At the end of May, our Snapdragon™ BatteryGuru app came out of beta in the Google play store. The response has been tremendous, with over 200K new downloads. This battery life saver app is designed to extend battery performance and improve overall user experience by intelligently making changes that optimize device functionality in phones with Snapdragon mobile processors. Find out all about how it is designed to help extend your battery life, and find out below how it can help you avoid letting a dead battery ruin your next night out.

Snapdragon BatteryGuru guys night outSnapdragon BatteryGuru guys night out

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Snapdragon

Snapdragon Wear 2100 powers high-end fashion smartwatches at Baselworld

Silicon Valley met Switzerland at this year’s Baselworld, the world’s premier event for the watch and jewelry industry, which celebrated its 100th anniversary this year. Several impressive smartwatches made their debut, all touting the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 Platform and all powered by Android Wear 2.0. With this reliable platform and OS developed specifically for wearables, it’s no wonder high-end brands are looking beyond basic wearable functions, and combining style with technology to develop chic smartwatches fit for any lifestyle.

The superior SoC for smartwatches, Snapdragon Wear 2100, is an integrated, ultra-low power sensor hub. It’s 30 percent smaller than previous-generation wearable SoCs, allowing OEMs the freedom to develop thinner, sleeker product designs. And because it uses 25 percent less power than its older sibling (the Snapdragon 400), watchmakers can offer even more features and better designs.

The Snapdragon Wear 2100 comes in both tethered (Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) and connected (3G and 4G LTE) versions. The latter allows wearers to do more with their wearables, from streaming music to sending messages to calling a cab, in tandem with — or even without — having to bring their smartphones along.

Each of the touchscreen smartwatches included in this roundup run Android Wear 2.0, Google’s latest wearable operating system, and can pair with both iOS and Android phones. With Android Wear 2.0, users can personalize their watch faces with chronometer-style complications and create shortcuts to their favorite applications. In addition to the pre-installed Google Fit and calendar apps, more apps can be downloaded directly through the on-watch Google Play store, so wearers can customize their device to their lifestyle.

Android Wear 2.0 brings the Google Assistant to your wrist. Find answers and get things done even when your hands are full. Reply to a friend, set a reminder, or ask for directions. Just hold the power button or say “OK Google”.

Check out the some of Snapdragon Wear powered smartwatches that made a splash at this year’s Baselworld:

Apr 18, 2017

Developer

Hardware-software convergence: Key skills to consider

Hardware-software convergence, or how hardware and software systems are working more closely together, illustrates how each are empowering (and sometimes literally powering) the other. And in our current development environment, this is happening more than ever. Of course, deep technical skills will be of the utmost importance to navigate this technological trend, but it is also the soft skills we apply to our engineering practices that are as important in determining our success.

What skills do developers need to nurture, and how do you put them to good use? In this piece, we’ll cover three soft skills developers can use to stay ahead of the hardware-software convergence, and share resources to help you grow and maintain those skills.

Creative inspiration

First off: Creative Inspiration. While it’s easy to identify your technical shortcomings and fill those gaps with training and practice, knowing which soft skills to hone can be a lot more complicated. In fact, you could even think of these soft skills as “mindsets,” since they’re more about how you approach a problem instead of just being a tool you use to solve it. For this first skill, it will be important to start approaching challenges antidisciplinarily, rather than relying on existing mental frameworks. That’s what being creative is all about – finding new ways of doing things.

So where do you start? Ask yourself this question: What is the dent you want to make in the universe? Begin from a place of passion – think about what problems and projects keep you up at night, and what issues big or small you want to solve.

Then, understand that creative inspiration is a process. What seems like overnight genius is often the result of many erroneous attempts (ex: Thomas Edison’s 1,000 or so attempts in creating the lightbulb) and then having the fortitude to gain deeper understanding of an issue to then apply your imagination. We particularly like the design thinking method, which encourages starting from a place of inspired empathy and developing knowledge through lean prototyping and iteration. The Stanford D.School has a Bootcamp Bootleg that you can download for a quick start guide to this design framework.

Apr 17, 2017

Developer

Developer of the month: Computing on the edge with Solstice

The beauty of developer boards like the DragonBoard 410c from Arrow Electronics is their adaptability, and we love hearing about all the different ways people are using them.

We selected Julian Dale and the team at Solstice as our Qualcomm Developer Network Developer of the Month because of their use of the DragonBoard 410c as the hub for their edge facilities management solution in a proof of concept demo that was one of the first to showcase AWS Greengrass, which is only available in limited preview.

We talked to Julian to find out about the challenges of building real-world IoT solutions, and how using the Dragonboard 410c helped them prototype an edge gateway running AWS Greengrass, extending AWS IoT and Lambda functions to add intelligence to what gets sent to the cloud.

Can you tell us about your company and what you develop?        
We’re strategists, researchers, designers and engineers hell-bent on changing the way the world does business. We’re headquartered in Chicago, IL and have delivery offices in New York, NY and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

How was your company started?
In 2001 J Schwan, Founder & CEO, established Solstice Consulting in Chicago as an IT services firm. In 2008, J pivoted the company from developing web-based experiences into mobile. Over these past seven years we’ve grown from a Chicago-based mobile boutique, to a technology firm of over 400 designers and engineers. To reflect this growth, this past fall we rebranded to simply: Solstice.

What is your company's mission?
Solstice is a global innovation and emerging technology firm that helps Fortune 500 companies seize new opportunities through world-changing digital solutions. We exist to prove what businesses are capable of.

Can you share with us your company’s project using DragonBoard 410c and AWS Greengrass? How did your company decide on these technology solutions?
We built a facilities management solution called
The Pulse, designed as an elegant way to capture data in existing buildings and derive insights from the vast amount of information. It was first featured at Solstice's annual innovation conference, Solstice FWD, in September 2016, and has since been upgraded to leverage AWS Greengrass. This powerful edge computing case was showcased during AWS re:Invent in November 2016 .

We built a number of sensor packs that tracked temperature, humidity, sound intensity, and motion. We deployed them throughout the conference venue in order to show attendees a heat map of the busiest areas – where exciting things might be happening – or how to get away from everything for a bit. With The Pulse our aim is to help attendees feel more plugged into the conference experience, and help them make informed decisions about what to do next.

The Pulse uses a DragonBoard 410c, a development board based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 mobile platform, as a gateway device that aggregates and batches information from many different sensors. Snapdragon processors have the power and speed to support edge processing, allowing increased local analysis of data for a more secure and reliable IoT implementation. Combined with AWS Greengrass, this brings new possibilities to commercial, industrial, medical and smart city solutions that can’t rely exclusively on the cloud.

What does innovation mean to your company? 
Innovation is a core pillar of why Solstice exists as an organization. We are always looking at the now, near, and next technologies that will shape our future. In 2015, we launched Solstice Labs, our internal R&D extension, to ensure we’re constantly investigating, testing and dreaming up the innovative technologies of the near future. From emerging IoT technology to augmented reality and much more, we invest in learning what’s coming next so we can keep our clients always looking ahead.

Share with us a fun fact about your company.
Every week, Solstice nominate their peers for the “Awesomeness Award”, which is given out every Thursday at our all hands company meeting. The winner is chosen by the previous week’s winner. The winner then has the privilege of sitting in the “Awe-some” Office the following week, and often uses it as a fun space for daily team standups and meetings. The Awesomeness Award promotes our culture of servant leadership by recognizing people that are making their teammates and projects shine.

Apr 6, 2017

Developer

4 new IoT development kits for Bluetooth Low Energy applications

Get your Bluetooth® Low Energy IoT applications ready for a new family of development kits based on the CSR102x modules from Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd.

The CSR102x family is designed to reduce the development time of the Bluetooth-connected IoT applications your customers are asking for:

Heart rate sensors, security tags, general IoT – The CSR102x Starter Development Kit is a good entry point for IoT development, with I/O expansion connectors for off-board sensors and actuators. It’s ideal for software developers looking to make the transition to embedded programming.
Lighting, home automation, sensor networks – The CSR102x IoT Development Kit is a package of 3 target boards made for networking Bluetooth devices and equipped with on-board LEDs, buttons, switches and sensors.
Beacons, proximity tags, wearables – The CSR102x Bluetooth Node Development Kit is powered by a coin cell battery, comes in a small footpod form factor, and includes a chip antenna, motion sensor, programming connector and internal flash.
Health & fitness, keyboards, mice, alert tags, keyless entry – The CSR102x Professional Development Kit is made for flexibility, with a pluggable CSR1025 chip module and multiple power supply options. It’s built to accommodate application-specific plug-in boards, currently the Sports Watch Application Board and the Smart Remote Application Board (sold separately).

Because “IoT” means so many different things to so many different developers, the CSR102x family covers a wide spectrum of application possibilities. It also checks three of the most important boxes on your IoT shopping list.

The CSR102x Development Kits – Low active power, low overall cost and security

Always-on devices are always-need-power devices. The CSR102x modules feature built-in power regulation and low active power consumption, with less than 5mA active current for transmit and receive operations. In the right applications, a coin cell battery in these modules can last for years.

Somewhere in the family you’ll find a kit with the hardware configuration you’re looking for. To keep your overall system costs low, we’ve designed the CSR102x kits so that very few external components are needed. The modules are implemented with only a single crystal, and you’ll find a direct connection between the antenna and device on each kit. The application boards include all the input controls, sensors and radios for prototyping a sports watch and smart remote control.

Without security, you don’t have much of an IoT story, so the CSR102x modules include application-level security features including encryption, authentication and over-the-air updates (OTAU) which are designed to prevent software running on them from being easily compromised. Applications downloaded may be authenticated using a SHA-256 hash and RSA-1024 signature, and may (at your option) be encrypted using AES-128 – only being decrypted before being loaded into RAM.

The CSR102x family picks up where the CSR101x family leaves off, adding new storage options for application software, lower power consumption, and support for the higher data throughput and additional security features of Bluetooth 4.2.

Are the CSR102x Development Kits right for you?

If you’re an embedded developer with C programming experience, you can dive right in to any kit in the family and start prototyping new apps in no time.

If you’re an app developer who’s been looking for a smooth path into embedded programming, we’ve made the CSR102x Starter Development Kit with you in mind. The IDE that comes with the kit includes full documentation on building sample apps and getting them downloaded to the hardware. The board includes expansion connectors and a programming and debugging interface to connect to the host development PC.

There’s no need for extensive knowledge of processor or Bluetooth technology. You can get the examples up and running quickly with basic knowledge of embedded design and C programming skills.

Next steps

If there’s a one-size-fits-all for IoT, we haven’t found it yet. (And we would know.) That’s why we release our kits in families, with different applications and form factors in mind.

Have a look at our CSR102x Development Kits and find the one that best suits your needs:

Starter Development Kit
IoT Development Kit
Bluetooth Node Development Kit
Professional Development Kit and separate Sports Watch Application Board and Smart Remote Application Board

You’re just a couple of clicks away from taking your IoT development to the next level.

Mar 30, 2017