Qualcomm chief hooks up proximity-based P2P offering

Qualcomm chief executive Paul Jacobs outlined a vision of the connected future focused on proximity-based peer to peer networking at the company’s Innovation conference in Istanbul on Wednesday.

With an estimated four billion smartphones to be sold between 2011 and 2015, according to Jacobs, consumers and professionals will be equipped to interact with a “sea of sensors” covering the planet.

Alongside already well documented developments in areas such as mobile healthcare and machine to machine (M2M), where sensors are implanted in everything from blood pressure monitors and trucks to TVs, Jacobs demonstrated emerging technologies such as a gesture interface similar to Microsoft’s Kinect and a proximity-based P2P offering.

The idea behind the latter is a software framework called All Joyn developed by the US firm to “give a UI to things that don’t have their own UI”. The framework is ideally implemented at a platform level – in a demonstration we saw it running on Android – although it could technically be implemented on an application level too. Operating agnostic of platform/OS, radio technology and device, All Joyn establishes P2P data sharing between two or more devices.

The offering has not been commercially implemented yet, although an Android version is already running, with Linux and Windows Phone versions in the pipeline. Japanese gaming firm Namco has already used the technology in a showcase version of its Pacman racing game on Android, allowing several users to play head to head with each other regardless of the device or platform they are using, with connectivity established over either Bluetooth or wifi.

Other implementations could allow users to share data or documents and media files, or collaborate on material. However, the same technology could also give users an interface for connected devices like a utility meter, TV, car or even washing machine.

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