Times are changing, with the focus on innovative services having been placed on software initiatives seeing a slow shift and balance of mindshare to accommodate hardware. There have always been hobbyists builders always tinkering with this and that board, building interesting things if but to prove that it is possible. Now we see big industry players, hitherto relegated to the backstage make direct effort to engage developer audiences to drive creation of solutions that are built with the hardware capabilities as the inspiration.
Intel and Qualcomm have led this assault locally. Intel recently did a global launch of a new system on chip targeted to the internet of things vertical. Qualcomm have a very comprehensive offer on the table locally that starts with availability of software development kits that will empower developers to build services and solutions for the growing number of devices that use their chips. I find their augmented reality, low power geo-fencing and facial recognition play interesting, that if adopted with not too steep a learning curve could see monetizable services created for industries such as banking, retail and the cross cutting advertising segment come to the market soon, with the smartphone penetration as averaged from curated sources coming to approximately twenty six percent and growing rapidly as attested to by marketing initiatives by mobile network operators such as Safaricom on devices from the Samsung, Intel, Huawei and HTC stable, with a sub 50$ smart phone touted for market launch in 2014 by one of the manufacturers.
Beyond, the software development kit provision, Qualcomm are giving much needed love to the community of builders by making available a network of specialists who will help those who are looking at innovating on the device level on top of their chip range. As Qualcomm do not build the actual devices and push them to market, they provide access to their network of partners who can work with innovators to address their needs on this front. The potential for rich pickings is evident with verticals such as health care – localized medical devices, education – rugged and dedicated devices, agriculture – salient data sensors and government – smart city initiatives, coming top of mind when thinking about the possibilities.
Technology is best experienced invisibly and “the part to look for, is the part you can’t see”.