Qualcomm’s Developer Conference spanning multiple leading mobile platform
At Uplinq 2011, Peter Chou, CEO of HTC, gave the opening keynote on the 2nd day of the conference, followed by Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop, and Jon Rubinstein, who headed HP’s Palm Global Business Unit. Only one year later that “extraordinary lineup of heavy hitters” would have lost some influence and power, which just shows how fast time progresses for everything touched by mobile.
Qualcomm demonstrated the capabilities of its Snapdragon Processor but the focus was on software and software development kits using (showcasing) Qualcomm hardware and software technology like Gimbal, AllJoyn, Vuforia, or FirethornPay.
Play By Play
The conference started with a Mobile CodeFest and Hackathon, providing mobile software developers access to Qualcomm SDKs that are still in beta. More importantly, Qualcomm engineers were available to give hands-on support. Nokia presented a Lumina 800 Windows-7.5 phone to all 300 attending developers – even considering that those phones will never be able to run Windows Phone 8, it was still very much appreciated.
The conference started with an extremely well produced video and ballet performance, which certainly energized the audience. Here is a short clip of the performance:
Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Chairman and CEO, Qualcomm, stressed the importance of software development for mobile and mentioned mobile apps quite often, which seems to put him at odds with one of his top lieutenants Rob Chandhok, President of Qualcomm Internet Services and Qualcomm SVP of software strategy.
Rob had a fireside chat Super Session (i.e. no parallel tracks) that was virtually a repeat of last year’s, once again pitching HTML-5 as “the best possible way for developers to take control of their destinies in a cross-platform world”. Maybe wrong-footed, but Rob was obviously unaware that his top showcase HTML-5 adapter (facebook) is working hard on replacing their currently painfully slow experience (Objective-C shell with an HTML-5 Web browser inside) with an all native app.
While all Qualcomm talks were totally scripted, the TelePrompTers remained dark when Aaron Levie, (Box) and later John Hering (Lookout) took the stage. John provided especially good insides and stressed the importance of developing with security and privacy in mind.
New Technology Introduced at Uplinq
Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon SDK for Android that enables developers to easily leverage Qualcomm’s Snapdragon-specific APIs to enhance existing apps or create exclusive new ones for Snapdragon-powered devices.
Qualcomm introduced Gimbal, a mobile context SDK for Android and iOS. Gimbal enables content providers and developers to make applications smarter and deliver a more personal experience to end users in real-time, based on their location, interests and situational context.
Gimbal Geo-fence, designed to provide low-power, Geo-fence-based location
awareness. This enables applications to be “contextually aware.”
Applications are able to adapt to what makes sense to the user based on
where they are. Gimbal provides / supports:
- Gimbal Interest Sensing enables applications to adapt based on the end
user’s profile/learned interests.
- Gimbal Image Recognition enables end users to trigger interactive
experiences through their smartphone camera.
- Gimbal Communicate allows for personalized communication via push
notification and/or show custom content within an application.
- Gimbal Manager is a web-based tool to manage Geo-Fences, profile rules,
image targets, content, distribution and analytics.
- Gimbal Privacy allows end users to manage Gimbal and its features.
Technology Demonstrated at Uplinq
Qualcomm demonstrated their AllJoyn open-source software framework, designed to solve many of the problems that exist in enabling peer-to-peer (P2P) cross-platform communication.
Qualcomm showed a Mobile Prepaid and Loyalty Platform FirethornPay.
Firethorn Mobile, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (QCOM), has been focused on the mobile commerce and payments segment.
Firethorn Pay is a cloud-based payment service that enables consumers to pay using their smartphone.
As an example, with FireThorn, users are able to use their Android or iOS based smartphones to scan a QR code/tag placed on the counter or drive-through window of participating Burger King restaurants and pay for their meals without ever taking out their wallets.
Qualcomm demonstrated Vuforia, Qualcomm’s augmented reality framework with support for iOS, Android, and Unity 3D.
An unexpected resurgence of interest for Windows 8, Metro, and Windows 8 Mobile of course, could be observed throughout Uplinq 2012. Session related to anything Windows 8, Metro, or Windows Phone were by far the best visited and had the most engaged Q&A segments.
Now, this was NOT Google I/O, but still well worth attending!