Maisie Ramsay | wirelessweek
SAN DIEGO—Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs got serious about entertainment in a keynote speech Wednesday at the company’s Uplinq conference in San Diego.
“When it comes to entertainment, today’s consumers have come to expect more and more from their mobile devices and experiences,” Jacobs said, earlier calling the proliferation of mobile applications and devices “one of the greatest waves of creativity in history. Today’s consumers expect to be amazed.”
Jacobs set out to impress the audience with a series of demonstrations of mobile games and applications running on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips, which are steadily increasing their presence in cutting-edge smartphones like the HTC Evo 3D.
Jacobs showed off Snapdragon’s prowess powering mobile games and 3D video content; the company’s AllJoyn peer-to-peer sharing technology; new augmented reality apps; and gave an update on its app development project with talent agent giant CreativeArtistsAgency.
Mobile games and entertainment aren’t Qualcomm’s primary business, but the company wants handset manufacturers making powerful, amusement-oriented smartphones to use its Snapdragon chips.
Sony Ericsson Chief Creation Officer Rikko Sakaguchi joined Jacobs on stage to testify about the company’s use of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets in its line of Xperia smartphones.
Sakaguchi said Sony Ericsson’s work with Qualcomm “made it possible” to come out with devices like the Xperia Play, a gaming phone that runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and is powered by Qualcomm’s 1 GHz Snapdragon chip and Adreno graphics processor.
Smartphones designed for mobile games, 3D graphics and high-definition video require high-powered, energy-efficient processors. That’s where Qualcomm believes it’s found its niche with its Snapdragon chips. More than 125 smartphones and tablets running on Snapdragon have been announced and there are another 250 devices in development, Jacobs said.
Qualcomm continued to court the mobile gaming community with the announcement of its Snapdragon Game Pack, a group of about 100 mobile games optimized to work with smartphones using Snapdragon processors.
Qualcomm’s augmented reality platform also got a plug. The company released the SDK for the platform in April, and already 7,000 developers have signed up to make apps using the technology, which was first announced at last year’s Uplinq conference.
Jacobs used the platform to demonstrate how augmented reality could be used for games, and also used DVD cases equipped with the technology to show how the platform could be used in marketing and advertising. Qualcomm plans to extend its augmented reality platform beyond Android to other mobile operating systems, including iOS.
Dreamworks executive John Batter took the stage to tell the audience how the company planned to use mobile technology to boost DVD sales, which have declined by 25 percent since 2005, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Uplinq used to be Qualcomm’s conference for Brew, but the company has expanded the program’s focus to other mobile operating systems. Jacobs said Brew was far from defunct, citing estimates that about 500 million feature phones would ship in 2015, but the majority of his address focused on smartphones.
Throughout his presentation, Jacobs emphasized that Qualcomm wanted to help developers succeed, whether they’re making apps for the company’s Brew platform or for Android-based smartphones using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips.
“I really feel like mobile is entering a whole new era,” Jacobs said. “We’re really seeing one of the greatest waves of creativity in history.”