Qualcomm: Connected tech will become our digital sixth sense

Qualcomm sees technology in the future being so connected that it will be able to act as a sixth sense to your whims before you even realise it.

"The Digital sixth sense vision is a very broad notion for things around you being connected," explained Paul Jacobs, CEO of Qualcomm at the company's annual developer conference, Uplinq, in San Diego.

The concept - which has nothing to do with Bruce Willis in case you were wondering - is that rather than having a single point of contact like a phone or a tablet, you'll be surrounded by connected devices all able to talk to each other and offering you an array of information points to create a bigger information picture.

"In the not too distant future a number of devices will work together to personalise relevant and timely data for you," Jacobs continues.

Qualcomm says that research carried out by the company predicts that there will be more than 25 billion connected devices in the world by 2020 and that over half of those won't be smartphone or tablet devices as we know them today.

That huge boom is hopefully going to come from wearable tech, as well as connected home appliances - something Qualcomm sees as huge growth areas in the coming years as perhaps phone and tablet sales start to become saturated over time.

The San Diego based company, which has just launched a smartwatch of its own called the Qualcomm Toq, doesn't see it as the be all and end all device though. It sees a future where we are wearing multiple items of tech, maybe to capture images, use in Augmented reality, relaying locations, and for fitness and health, with all those devices talking to each other. 

"Smart assistants are just the beginning of what is to come," Jacobs told those in attendance. "Your mobile device will become a personal gateway to the internet of everything and we will spend less time managing the information around us and more time enjoying the world around you."

Envisioning a future home, Jacobs suggested that using Qualcomms's AllJoyn technology - which has been in development for some time but is still to be rolled out in consumer devices - home owners could be notified that they had left the garage door open via their TV then being able to close it through an app on their phone regardless of brand parity.

Meanwhile on the personal device level, the company has created a device it's calling Gimbal, a proximity beacon that can be used to set off specific interactive experiences based on your location at a conference, stadium or somewhere else.

Qualcomm is already trialilng the new tech with the Dallas Cowboys American football team and at its own Uplinq conference.

At the Dallas Cowboy stadium, those using the new technology are automatically sent timely notifications when they walk through specific geo-targeted areas or a nearby concessions stand.

At Uplinq, conference attendees who have signed up to the programme are able to automatically check-in to conference sessions, as well as receive special offers for restaurants they might be passing.

If Qualcomm has its way, expect the technology to get a lot more aware of where you are and what you are doing, thanks to its being able to talk to the other gadgets you have with you at the time.