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Qualcomm, IBM innovate with the IoT

Posted: 19 May 2014  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Qualcomm  IBM  Watson 

Qualcomm and IBM introduced separate initiatives leveraging the IoT at the TiEcon 2014. The chipmaker talked about a "portfolio" of chips while IBM's Watson group presented the market and technology directions the group is pursuing.

As "an extension of our business... we are building a portfolio of products and technologies" for the IoT, said Steve Mollenkopf, Qualcomm's CEO, although he chafed at the term IoT. "It means different things to different people and it means nothing to a lot of people," he said.

He defined IoT as the new "edge of the network...[that has] a lot of surface area [and]... is a very wide open space [that] looks different than the phone space."

More specifically, it's still early days for wearables, he added, noting non-technical problems in security/privacy and fashion marketing.

"People come out with devices that don't work, but that means innovation is happening—someone will work it out," he said. "You don't want to bat 1,000 because that means you are not setting your ambitions high enough," he added.

For its part, Qualcomm is "at a point where we are trying to figure out what's next for the company... we're in a ringside seat to a lot of changes in the industry," he said. Interestingly, he noted the company is essentially in two businesses, making chips and intellectual property and the licencing group is "where most of profits come from."

In a separate talk here, the head of IBM's Watson group discussed the road ahead for the company's software, suggesting the intellectual property in big data will be the centre of profit for many companies.

Gyani and Mollenkopf

Figure 1: Former AT&T Wireless CEO Mohan Gyani (left) makes a point at the TIE Con keynote with Qualcomm's CEO Steve Mollenkopf.

IBM ponders cognitive future

"We are building into Watson a new capability to perform a dynamic psycho-linguistic profile of the user—it understands you," said Mike Rhodin, who leads IBM's Watson group. "It can figure out why you may be asking a question so it can give you a better answer."

Also in the works are capabilities for Watson to engage in a dialogue beyond its question and answer format and a reasoning facility to respond to a complex problem statement with a more detailed approach to solving it.


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