CES 2018: Qualcomm unveils smart home hub collaboration with Google

The collaboration includes two Qualcomm Home Hub platforms that support Google's Android Things.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

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At CES 2018, Qualcomm and Google announced a new collaboration that aims to put the Google Assistant into more devices around the home.

The collaboration includes two Qualcomm Home Hub platforms based on the SDA624 and SDA212 system on chips that support Google's Android Things.

Described by Qualcomm as a "comprehensive set of platforms," the system also includes new system-on-modules, development boards and reference designs. The aim with the platforms is to support rapid production and commercialization of AI-equipped home hub products featuring Google services, such as Cast, TensorFlow, Duo, and Maps.

Qualcomm said the variant based on the SDA212 SoC is designed to bring digital assistant and audio capability into home devices and appliances such as refrigerators, ovens and washing machines.

The second variant is based on the Qualcomm SDA624 SoC and is reportedly more feature-rich, with edge computing capabilities that support advanced tasks including video conferencing, remote video monitoring, and streaming video.

Qualcomm said software and security updates can be pushed out via the Google Cloud. For OEMs, this means a more simplified rollout of new features, bug fixes and security updates.

"The design of AI-enabled home hubs can be a complex task, requiring OEMs to bring together connectivity, compute and security hardware and software elements in a very short time," said Raj Talluri, SVP of product management for Qualcomm Technologies. "Our Home Hub platforms using Android Things are able to integrate the necessary technologies, with support for voice interfaces, connectivity to several ecosystems, and cloud integration to enable a wide range of IoT devices."

Harman and Lenovo are currently working on home products using the Qualcomm Home Hub platforms, Qualcomm said.

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