Qualcomm: An 'Everything Connected' World Is Closer Than You Think

Qualcomm: An 'Everything Connected' World Is Closer Than You Think

September 6, 2016

What happens when every electronic device is part of your mobile ecosystem?

That’s the question at the center of today’s digital moment, which has a lot of exciting and interesting answers according to Qualcomm Chief Technology Officer Matt Grob.

“When every device is smarter and more connected we will have much more understanding of the world around us and the ability to take action on that understanding,” said Grob. “With a wireless link as reliable as a wired one, we will see new innovations beyond what we have imagined today.”

Today, the deployment of connected devices is already making a difference. Qualcomm has implemented sensors throughout their facilities to monitor power and water usage in real time. They instituted a similar system at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, predicting a 25 percent savings in expenses over the next several years.

“These tangible business benefits will be a key driver in the success of the Internet of Things for enterprises,” Grob said.

What are the next technologies that will begin delivering tangible benefits as a more-connected world takes shape?

At the “top tier” of Internet of Things applications lies robotics, Grob said, ranging from security robots on Qualcomm’s campuses to consumer robots, like Cozmo, with machine intelligence-driven personalities.

And it won’t just be Earth-bound robots doing amazing things. Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are set to surge in commercial use, too. Improved wireless connectivity and reliability will help overcome a current major roadblock to business utilization: what happens when the drone leaves the operator’s line of sight?

There will also be advances in how these devices communicate with one another, and those communications will be more secure than ever before. Given past security improvements with each generation of wireless technology, Grob expects tomorrow’s networks to be even better protected. “With 5G, the concept of mission critical services is being introduced that will require strong security to protect these vital transmissions where failure is not an option,” Grob said.

Still, achieving this always-on, reliably connected future is a challenge that requires collaboration between engineering and commercial innovation.

“The major challenge has to be the complexity of delivering a viable and global solution of this scale. The technical complexity is far beyond that of 3G or 4G, requiring a much more complex and efficient modem,” Grob said. “Then you must support trials and commercialization on a global scale, which is a mammoth undertaking for even a large organization like Qualcomm.”

But it’s a mammoth undertaking worth the effort given the benefits of tomorrow’s connected life.

“5G,” Grob said, “will allow us to achieve the promise of a fully connected world.”

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