Cloud Computing, Enterprise, Hardware, Software Programs

UPLINQ 2012: Paul Jacobs Keynote Touts Ecosystem, Challenges Intel and NVIDIA

Today, Qualcomm kicked off the start of Uplinq 2012 with a keynote by Dr Paul Jacobs. It began with a show of dancers showing displaying themes that Qualcomm considers to be important. This was followed by the appearance of Paul Jacobs, CEO of Qualcomm.

(We will have video of Dr Jacob’s Keynote here soon, thank you for your patience.)

Dr Paul Jacobs takes the stage
Dr Paul Jacobs takes the stage

Jacobs began by talking about expected global figures for mobile: over one billion mobile phones to sell by 2014, and over 66 billion apps by 2016. ?Global data revenues grew 23 percent last year to $320 billion. To put that in perspective, that’s more than the worldwide revenues generated by the music industry, plus Hollywood movies, plus ISP services, plus cable TV services combined.? He continued with the role of mobile development in various fields such as Snapdragon processors showing up in televisions, cars using mobile processors which allows them to have car specific apps, and mobile healthcare and fitness. He went on to mention that globally, there are already more than six billion mobile connections to the internet.

The primary theme for today?s keynote was ?Connecting the Internet of Everything?. The goal of this message is to eventually have every device be internet capable, able to be used and accessed remotely. This includes using mobile devices to access home appliances, medical devices, cloud services, etc

This segued well into the next topic which was AllJoyn. AllJoyn is an open source framework for connecting devices using a proximal ad hoc network, meaning that devices on the same network within close proximity can interact and share content. To showcase this technology, Dr Jacobs introduced the CEO of Nero, Jurgen Kurz.

Kurz began by discussing Nero Kwik Media, which launched last year, and will be continually increasing support for different platforms. Kwik Media is currently on 50 million devices, the program itself is designed to allow users to access their content from any storage medium they have, whether it be locally, on Dropbox, or even Facebook, and stream it in the correct format. Kwik Media is most effective when utilizing AllJoyn to interact between devices. This ability was demonstrated by having Kurz take a picture of Dr Jacobs using a smartphone. The picture immediately showed up on a nearby tablet, and was added into a slideshow on the fly, which was then presented on a television. This was to show the multiplatform capabilities of AllJoyn.

Paul Jacobs then returned to the main stage and mentioned the app that Qualcomm is using for Uplinq this year, Bizzabo. Bizzabo allows attendees to network with other conference attendees; it is a social networking app with proximal awareness.

Jacobs went on to showcase Qualcomm?s latest Snapdragon technology. Qualcomm?s goal is to provide ?PC-like performance? which also having great battery life. Jacobs says this is accomplished by Snapdragon processors because Qualcomm builds the CPUs and GPUs from the ground up, and they optimize the software to run on those chips. He also said that even Qualcomm?s dual core Snapdragons outperform competitors? quad core processors. In a test of 13 benchmarks, the dual core Snapdragon beat out the competitors? quad core by a margin of 20% on 9 of the tests and 100% on 3 of the tests. He then showed a video of three phones running a benchmark with sticks of butter on each of them, the phone running the Qualcomm processor melted the butter at a dramatically slower rate than the two competitors? phones. This past year, Qualcomm shipped more mobile processors than any other company, and to show off the performance of the Snapdragon processors, Raj Talluri, the Senior Vice President of Product management came onstage. Raj showed off a tablet running on the Snapdragon S4 Pro processor. On the tablet, he ran the Snapdragon Fortress Demo. The demo showed light reflection and refraction, as well as dynamic smoke rendering. The demo ran different functions on all four cores of the processor, and to show how important each one was, Raj disabled cores, which caused the framerate of the demo dropped significantly. Paul Jacobs then introduced the Snapdragon Game Pack, which has over 100 game titles for Android and Windows phone. The Snapdragon Game Command app is also available in the Google Play store, and allows users to manage their games. He also announced two new developer form factors: the S4 Mobile Development Platform, and the Dragonboard form factor.

Dr Paul Jacobs speaking at Uplinq 2012
Dr Paul Jacobs speaking at Uplinq 2012

Jacobs also introduced the first Snapdragon SDK for Android. The initial functions that the SDK will enable are: gesture technology, facial processing, surround sound recording, echo cancellation, burst frame capture, and indoor location functions.

Jacobs then mentioned Qualcomm?s commitment to Windows RT, and their goal to have the thinnest, best performing Windows RT tablets with the best battery life possible. He also mentioned that they have been working very closely with Microsoft on developing the Windows RT devices, and also that all Windows Phone devices all currently run on Snapdragon processors.

Jacobs also spoke about a contest for Metro Style App developers for Windows RT. Judges will be announcing winners in mid-October of 2012. Prizes will amount to $200,000 total, and there will be winners in four different categories.

Jacobs then began discussing the importance of HTML 5, and how Qualcomm wants to provide the best possible HTML 5 experience for mobile. To show off Snapdragon?s superiority in HTML 5, they ran Sunspider and V8 benchmarks on both a Snapdragon dual core and a competitor?s quad core. The Snapdragon performed 12% better than the competitor on Sunspider and 13% better on the V8 benchmark.

Akamai Technologies was also announced as a new Qualcomm partner, and using their ability to optimize browser performance, Qualcomm will be able to offer the best possible performance for their phones. Their goal is to make the web browser one of the best app platforms for mobile.

Qualcomm also showed off their Vuforia augmented reality platform, which has been gaining traction especially with interactive education for children. However, this presentation by Jay Wright, the Senior Director of Business Development, was to show off Vuforia?s retail capabilities. Whereas before it could only read from a database of 80 items, it can now read over a million entries from a database. As of today, the new retail version of Vuforia is available as a closed (private) beta.

Next up was the CEO of Blippar, Ambarish Mitra to talk about Blippar and its relation to Vuforia. Blippar is an image recognition platform that allows users to interact with offline (physical) ads, and it allows companies to collect useful data on how those ads were interacted with, how long they were viewed, etc. This pairs perfectly with Vuforia by using their augmented reality platform in conjunction with Blippar?s image recognition.

Finally, Disney?s CTO of Imagineering, Scott Watson came onstage to talk about how Disney is utilizing mobile platforms to lead the way in entertainment te
chnology. He mentioned ?Otto?, a phone system for getting information about the Disney parks. He also talked about their in-park GPS based direction app, but mentioned there were issues in areas where users would be indoors and lacking GPS. The latest and last device to be shown off was the Mickey?s Magic Ears hat. The Magic Ears work in tandem with Disney light shows going on nearby, as well as networking with other nearby Magic Ears in order to display lights in a coordinated fashion. This was used recently at Disney?s new World of Color show.

Rob Chandhok and Dr Paul Jacobs onstage with a pair of Mickey's Magic Ears
Rob Chandhok and Dr Paul Jacobs onstage with a pair of Mickey’s Magic Ears

In conclusion, Qualcomm has some exciting technology on the horizon, with a lot of potential growth, and they seem to be teaming up with some very capable and useful partners.