AllJoyn adds DoubleTwist support, video streaming promised

Qualcomm further demonstrated its AllJoyn system to Pocket-lint at Mobile World Congress, but with a new twist. DoubleTwist, in fact.

Rather than just promote the ability for your fridge to talk to your TV and send you a notification that you've left the fridge door open, the new addition means that Qualcomm now allows music streaming over the system. And there's hope that video streaming will be added in the near future.

Confirming the news during the trade show, Rob Chandhok, president of Qualcomm's Innovation Centre and in charge of the AllJoyn project, told Pocket-lint that although the company didn't have anything official to announce about it yet, it was working on adding video streaming to the AllJoyn project in the future.

AllJoyn, launched in 2011, is Qualcomm's open-source application development framework for ad hoc, proximity based device-to-device communications. The technology uses peer-to-peer mesh networking to connect devices around your home, in a similar way to how Sonos already works for music streaming.

Read: Qualcomm: With AllJoyn apps you'll be able to buy items you see on TV using your smartphone

And that's what Qualcomm has added before the forthcoming video streaming abilities. An adopted technology from specialist company DoubleTwist, called MagicPlay, works like Apple's AirPlay and the Sonos multi-room system but with new tricks.

The idea is that you will be able to stream music directly from your phone to an AllJoyn-enabled speaker. In the wider picture, that is nothing new. Sonos, AirPlay and countless other systems already let you stream music from your phone to a speaker, but where the DoubleTwist AllJoyn partnership differs is that the system has the ability to allow the music to follow you around the home as you walk from room to room, and should, if manufacturers embrace it, mean that it won't be brand specific.

It uses a number of technologies to detect where you are in connection with the speaker, although Chandhok admitted that there are still issues to be solved with a proximity based system, especially in small environments. But it can work.

And that's exactly what Qualcomm showed us when it demoed the new app to Pocket-lint at Mobile World Congress.

On the company's stand, we witnessed a HTC phone running the yet to be released DoubleTwist app connected to a speaker in a makeshift living room. We then moved into another "room" and the app automatically disconnected the sound from one speaker and connected it to the next room we were in. The music also followed us into a third "room".  

Imagine it in your home where the music follows you from your bedroom, to your kitchen, to your car, without your having to do anything.

The caveat is that the software isn't out at the moment, and there are no speakers currently on the market with the AllJoyn chip in them. Yes, it is early days.

Qualcomm has suggested that it might be possible to create a USB dongle to make some devices "AllJoyn-ready", but Chandhok explained that while audio could move really quickly, as could set-top boxes, white goods will take longer because they aren't upgraded as often.

Seeing the technology first hand, it reminded us of a plot device in a film we saw in 2001, Antitrust starring Tim Robbins and Ryan Phillippe.

In the film, Robbins has a system in his house that automatically changes the digital pictures on the wall to his favourite artist when he walks into the room. In the future, a system like AllJoyn could make this possible for all of us.

Qualcomm said it expected AllJoyn devices to start making it into shops in time for Christmas this year. However, it didn't have any specific details to share on who exactly is looking to add the technology into devices. 

Teasing us slightly, Chandhok said that on the first day of Mobile World Congress more than 40 manufacturers had visited the stand expressing an interest.



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