Qualcomm shows off wireless chargers and augmented reality tech: Photos

Qualcomm shows off wireless chargers and augmented reality tech: Photos

Summary: It'd be a mistake to think of Qualcomm only as a mobile processor company — as seen by the augmented reality kit, wireless charger and other nifty tech it showed off at its IQ 2012 conference.


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  • Qualcomm WiPower

    Although Qualcomm's most public face is that of the leading smartphone processor designer, the company has many other projects on the go.

    At the Innovation Qualcomm 2012 event on Tuesday, the company showed off some of that work. One of the most immediately useful ideas is WiPower, an inductive wireless charging technology that can be used for juicing up multiple devices at once.

    The WiPower system uses a Qualcomm-made module that resides inside the phone, rather than connecting directly with the back cover (as is the case with Nokia's latest Windows Phones and others that follow the Wireless Power Consortium's 'Qi' approach).

    This avoids the problem of heating up other metallic objects, such as keys and coins, that get placed on the charging pad.

    Apparently due for commercial release later this year, WiPower has been around eight years in the making. Qualcomm bought the eponymous company behind it in 2010, and founded an industry consortium — including players such as Samsung — to push its adoption.

    (Image credit: David Meyer)

  • Vuforia

    Vuforia is an augmented reality platform that is, according to Qualcomm's Michael Gervautz, already used in around 1,500 mobile apps.

    It uses an SDK provided by Qualcomm, is optimised to work particularly well on handsets using the company's chipsets, and has already been out for a year or so.

    Vuforia's application has been almost entirely in marketing and advertising, allowing print ads and even magazine covers to trigger various interactive animations and videos.

    Gervautz suggested Vuforia apps will work on around 80 percent of smartphones out there. For app developers, the SDK removes the need to have to deal with the peculiarities of various handsets and tablets' operating systems and cameras.

    (Image credit: David Meyer)

  • Qualcomm Hy-Fi

    If you've ever found yourself fiddling around with various forms of connectivity such as Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Powerline to try find the best connection (I have), then Qualcomm hopes to remove such troubles through its Hy-Fi technology.

    Hy-Fi is a plug-and-play device (the white plug-like thing you see above) running a software layer that effectively chooses the best connection at any given time and switches accordingly, without interrupting whatever was going on over that connection.

    According to Qualcomm, it takes care of Wi-Fi channel management, AP settings and Powerline settings, with the user not having to do anything but pressing a button to secure the network.

    There's no word on its release date, but Qualcomm representative Alauze Guy suggested it would be made available to consumers "soon" through one of the company's partners.

    (Image credit: David Meyer)

Topics: Emerging Tech, Mobility

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • Misleading marketing...

    It should be called 'plug-less' charging, not wireless.