Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Qualcomm expands IoT ecosystem

Steve Rogerson
May 19, 2015
Qualcomm has expanded its presence in the IoT field by addingsix ecosystems providers to simplify the development of devices that use Wifi to connect to the IoT by increasing cloud service flexibility and making these available in a broader global reach. The providers are Ayla Networks, Exosite, Kii, Proximetry, Temboo and Xively by LogMein.
The California-based company has also introduced two intelligent connectivity products for the IoT – the QCA401x and QCA4531 – which are said to bring feature-rich Wifi and broad ranging capabilities to connect products and are each accompanied by development platforms to give users an expedited and cost-effective path to deployment
More features have been added to the Qualcomm AllPlay smart media platform including Bluetooth to Wifi re-streaming, custom audio settings and optimised synchronisation. Additionally, Hitachi has launched three Wifi speakers powered by AllPlay.
In addition Qualcomm has made an umbrella IoT release, which details the progress made by the company across the whole range of IoT technologies.
For the smart home market, the AllSeen Alliance has a network of 18 manufacturers and 18 music streaming service providers that have integrated or have announced plans to integrate AllPlay for wireless whole-home audio.
In the wearables sector, more than 20 wearable devices from smart watches and fitness trackers to wearable cameras and digital eyewear are shipping in more than 30 countries.
On connected cars, more than 20 million connected vehicles are deployed globally with Qualcomm Snapdragon LTE and 3G modems.
Qualcomm is also involved in 20 active engagements to provide smart, sustainable connectivity that helps cities modernize. These projects include municipal Wifi, water usage, recycling, lighting, transportation, energy and infrastructure.
And Qualcomm Life is building a mobile health ecosystem, with approximately 500 customers and collaborators including Cerner, AMC Health, Roche and Walgreens.
“The internet of things encompasses a vast, growing ecosystem of billions of new connections,” said Derek Aberle, president of Qualcomm. “For the internet of things to truly deliver value for individuals, communities and companies, the industry needs technology leaders with the right scale and resources. Qualcomm is well-positioned to provide the most advanced connectivity, computing and interoperability for devices and machines in smart homes, automobiles, wearables and smart cities. Our technologies are already driving this new era of intelligent connectivity and computing, and we will continue to invest in these emerging segments.”
AllPlay provides consumers with multiple streaming options, including a feature to combine Bluetooth and Wifi whole home streaming. Now, all local or cloud-based music on a consumer’s smartphone can be streamed to any Bluetooth-compatible AllPlay speaker and then re-streamed over Wifi to multiple AllPlay speakers, all in synch. This allows simple wireless connectivity to individual speakers or an entire home audio system over the user’s existing home Wifi network.
Qualcomm Atheros is making Wifi feasible for a multitude of devices in the home and office; the platforms enable lower power to ensure better usage and simpler implementation with ease of configuration and interoperability. In addition, the AllPlay smart media platform, which is based on the AllJoyn open source projects, a software and services framework from the AllSeen Alliance, has a network of 18 manufacturers and 18 music streaming service providers who have integrated or have announced plans to integrate AllPlay for wireless whole-home audio.
Today, there are more than 20 million connected vehicles deployed globally with Qualcomm Snapdragon LTE and 3G modems for cloud-based entertainment, safety and security applications.
To help meet the needs of rapidly growing urban populations, Qualcomm is delivering products for smart buildings, energy, infrastructure, transportation and other emerging municipal applications. The company is involved in more than 20 active engagements to provide smart, sustainable connectivity that helps cities modernise while reducing operational costs in areas including municipal Wifi, water usage, recycling, lighting, transportation, energy and infrastructure. Cities around the world are implementing smart connectivity today, leveraging a full suite of Qualcomm products, including 3G, 4G, Wifi and small cells, as well making use of the AllJoyn open source project in various industrial applications.
With the 2Net device connectivity platform, HealthyCircles care coordination platform and now HealthyCircles Mobile, Qualcomm Life is enabling seamless care from the hospital to the home. The 2Nnet and HealthyCircles platforms are providing the scalable infrastructure for a new generation of connected health and reaching chronic disease patients who need chronic care management tools the most. These technologies allow secure and reliable sharing, transmission and cloud-based storage of health information.
The AllSeen Alliance, of which Qualcomm was a founding member, is a cross-industry consortium dedicated to enabling and driving the widespread adoption of products, systems and services that support the IoT with an open, universal deployment framework. The alliance now has more than 140 companies among its members, including Electrolux, Haier, LG, Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony, LIFX and Honeywell. It is committed to growing the IoT through the adoption of the AllJoyn open source framework that is platform, operating system and hardware agnostic to enable seamless device discovery, connectivity and interoperability.
The addition of the IoT ecosystem providers should simplify the development of devices that use Wifi to connect to the IoT by increasing cloud service flexibility and making these products available in a broader global reach.
“We keenly understand the importance of diverse ecosystem solutions for cloud-based services in the expanding IoT businesses and segments,” said Joseph Bousaba, senior director at Qualcomm Atheros. “By integrating these key providers’ software directly into our connectivity solutions, we’re enabling customers to quickly deploy solutions with the most suitable cloud provider for their industry segment.”
The new providers join Amazon company 2Lemetry, which was previously announced as a cloud ecosystem provider integrated with the QCA4002. It provides cloud connect services through its ThingFabric platform, including support for secure socket layer (SSL) connections to provide secure communications between device and cloud.
Ayla Nnetworks provides an enterprise scale IoT platform, accelerating development, support and ongoing enhancements of connected products for the IoT.
“In addition to helping manufacturers establish and scale end-to-end IoT solutions, we are passionate about enabling manufacturers to gain data intelligence from their connected products to achieve everything from improved warranty services to iterating ever-better product designs,” said David Friedman, chief executive officer of Ayla Networks. “Integrating our solution with Qualcomm Atheros’ intelligent connectivity expands the range of solutions that manufacturers can access for turnkey product-to-cloud connectivity opportunities.”
Exosite enables durable goods manufacturers in consumer, commercial and industrial segments to build and deploy systems that capture the IoT generation of their business. It provides an enterprise-grade, analytics-driven software platform that allows OEMs to create economic leverage while eliminating the risk and burden of custom infrastructure.
“We are very pleased to bring the benefit of integration with Qualcomm Atheros to the commercial and industrial segment for IoE ecosystem enablement,” said Hans Rempel, chief executive officer at Exosite. “The Qualcomm Atheros cloud ecosystem, coupled with Exosite’s globally available IoT software platform and regional IoT expertise, will provide a powerful tool that enables customers to quickly deploy secure, scalable and insightful IoT solutions.”
Kii, with offices in Japan, Silicon Valley, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Valencia, is an end-to-end mobile and IoT platform provider, whichempowers device manufacturers and mobile application developers with the capabilities to deliver full-fledged scalable IoT products.
“We’re excited to further broaden our reach to device manufacturers and developers through our collaboration with Qualcomm Atheros,” said Masanari Arai, chief executive officer at Kii. “In addition to leveraging our carrier-grade scalable IoT platform, Qualcomm Atheros’ chipset customers will also be able to take advantage of our global IoT cloud platform including China, and our international IoT distribution ecosystem with Brightstar, a subsidiary of Softbank.”
Proximetry delivers software that enables the management of performance-critical, connected devices in the IoT.
“Our expertise in smart device management in constrained environments complements Qualcomm Atheros’ leadership in IoT connectivity,” said Tracy Trent, chief executive officer at Proximetry. “Our combined offering enables new smart end-to-end IoT solutions as well as capabilities like device management and data harvesting that will drive value in the utility, smart cities, home automation and other interesting segments.”
Temboo is a cloud-based code generation platform with more than 2000 processes for application programming interfaces and databases.
“Our goal is to provide flexibility to IoT developers to connect to multiple web services with easy to use configuration,” said Trisala Chandaria, co-founder and president of Temboo. “With Qualcomm Atheros’ intelligent connectivity and Temboo’s production-ready software stack, customers can quickly connect their hardware to the IoT.”
And Xively by LogMein is an enterprise IoT platform for enterprises building connected products.
“We share Qualcomm Atheros’ desire to help companies accelerate their IoT initiatives as a way to transform their businesses and build deeper more durable relationships with their connected customers and partners,” said Deepak Puri, vice president of business development at LogMein, the company behind the Xively enterprise IoT platform. “We see Xively’s cloud connectivity, management and engagement capabilities and Qualcomm Atheros’ intelligent connectivity as a natural complement to help companies rapidly deploy new connected products.”
The QCA401x is Qualcomm Atheros’ most integrated and feature-rich intelligent IoT connectivity product to date. It has an integrated microcontroller with up to 800kbyte of on-chip memory available to programmers and an expanded set of interfaces to interconnect with sensors, display and actuators. Included is a suite of communications protocols such as Wifi, IPv6, HTTP and other cloud enablers, and a feature designed to increase security in the smallest IoT devices. The QCA401x is being sampled by OEMs.
The QCA4531 is a low-cost turnkey product that brings connectivity capabilities with a user-programmable Linux Open WRT environment benefiting from the extended range based on 2x2 11n. It is designed to serve as a feature-rich IoT node leveraging the Linux framework and as a hub to enable an IoT ecosystem. As the IoT ecosystem expands, the unit is suitable for multi-protocol bridging and communications, bringing together multiple wireless medium and bridging between different ecosystems. It can function as an access point supporting up to 16 simultaneous devices, and is power-optimised to enable appliances to meet international standards for energy efficiency. The product is shipping to appliance manufacturers and other IoT-focused users.
Both the QCA401x and QCA4531 come pre-integrated with the Allseen Alliance’s AllJoyn software framework, ensuring interoperability with the rapidly expanding AllJoyn ecosystem that is designed to enable smart devices to communicate locally. The QCA401x enables AllJoyn IoT clients, and the QCA4531 is capable of becoming an AllJoyn IoT hub.
“A big part of Qualcomm Atheros’ strategy for the IoT is pairing the right mix of connectivity and computing capabilities from our deep technology portfolios to address the varying needs of the IoT,” said Bousaba. “Both the QCA401x and QCA4531 align to this strategy and pair well with the range of offerings from our intelligent connectivity portfolio, including the QCA4002 and QCA4004, which have shipped in over 35 million products since their launch.”