Qualcomm has been busy diversifying beyond chips and they now have an impressive range of software and even a smart watch.
Its smart home demo was one of my Mobile World Congress highlights and shows how technology will make our lives even easier in the coming years.
First up you get to your front door and enter the lounge. The August Smart lock detects you and your wife via proximity to your smartphone, unlocking the doors, turning off the alarm and you both get a personalized verbal welcome through the connected sound system and smart TV.
The lights come up automatically depending on the time of the day and to your personal settings. Plus you can still use keys and operate the lock manually so don’t worry if you run out of charge on your smartphone.
With the smart lock you will have no more awkward conversations with ex’s or friends you fall out with. You can give and revoke access via their smartphones to open your house with a virtual key.
Or you can just give them access on weekends or for one day when they in town and you are at work.
Equally you can assign access to your cleaners, but just on the days and times they should be in your home. The house owner gets an alert when someone opens you door. Goji, a competitor to August, even emails you a photo of everyone who comes to your door.
This functionality is powered by AllJoyn: an open source project which is being expanded by the AllSeen Alliance (which comprises the likes of Qualcomm, LG and Panasonic).
AllJoyn apps and products can communicate over Wi-Fi, power line or Ethernet, regardless of manufacturer or OS and without the need for Internet access.
Now you are home, its time for the battle of the air conditioning with husband and wife arguing through their mobiles over setting the right temperature (I’m always hearing how women feel the cold more than men!).
When the AC is set to cool the house down the LIFX LED lights can be set to be blue, or red when set to heat the house up, so you can tell which way the temperature is going to be heading without looking at a screen.
Now the temperature is sorted, how about a glass of wine? The connected wine fridge can send push notification alerts if the door is not shut properly after you.
Rather than the ‘Internet of Things‘, we hear the phrase the ‘Internet of Everything’ used during our demo.
And that seems pertinent as we see the connected Teddy bear. In Bobby’s bedroom we see how using a mobile app and in just a few seconds all devices clocks can be set after a power outage.
It’s time for Bobby to wake up and his alarm goes off. The LED lights come on gently at first and then rising in intensity, there is a verbal alert and the connected Teddy bear, called Teddy The Guardian, talks encouraging Bobby to get up (hopefully not freaking him out as it did to most of the adults on the demo tour).
Later when it’s past Bobby’s bedtime he watches YouTube on a tablet he’s hidden from his parents. When he accesses it two things happen.
Stream boost software kicks in with the WiFi so that everyone in the house streaming/downloading media has a good experience.
It also triggers an alert to Bobby’s parents that Bobby is on YouTube late at night, which appears on the Smart TV they are watching along with their smartphones and Toq smart watch. So the parents can switch off the Wi-Fi just to that room.
The Toq smart watch from Qualcomm is well worth a mention, as its pretty slick. The screen uses technology called Mirrorsol so the visibility under well-lit conditions is great, the battery life is impressive, and the watch has wireless charging.
Last up is the Media room. Of course you can stream music from your smartphone via wifi to your sound wall, wireless speakers and TV. You can also control all of this via smartwatch and choose which speakers you use, along with volume, etc.
Finally the Birdi smoke alarm is demo’d. An incident tells smart lock to open, the LED lights turn to red and an audio message telling you that smoke is detected followed by alarm. Time to leave.
But what a thought provoking tour, with some great use cases.
The exciting thing is that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Soon interior decorators and home builders will need to become technologists.