Scene Detect, 802.11ad, Wireless Charging
Scene and Object Detection
Probably the most impressive demo I saw today was part of the Zeroth engine and allowed for scene and object detection in photographs. The idea is simple but incredibly complex: find a way to organize your images and sort through based on objects that are in them, intelligently and automatically. Qualcomm wants this technology to help users organize on their local device using advanced deep neural networks.
Part of the demonstration showcased the live version of this technology – pointing the camera at a scene with a skier on a mountain could recognize that image was outdoors, and snow it and had a person. Another image showed a table with a glass of wine and the system was able to characterize it as having "drinks" in it. It was impressive to see in a such a small form factor though obviously you'll get higher quality results when running this same type of exercise on desktop clients.
We also saw the immediate and on-device categorization and organization taking place. Have two photos of hamburgers you took recently? Match them up, give the group a name and hit a button, allowing the Zeroth engine and the heterogeneous compute capability of the CPU cores, GPU and DSP work together to find every image that it also believes to be a burger. It worked impressively during the demo (as you would expect) but I can this type of software addition being a big hit for consumers. The technology doesn't take facial recognition into account yet but Qualcomm thinks that could be found in a future iteration of the scene/object detection implementation.
MU-MIMO and 802.11ad Support
Back in September Sebastian wrote up a review of our first experiences with a technology called MU-MIMO (multi-user multiple input, multiple output) with a notebook from MSI and networking hardware from Killer. It was impressive and it clearly is the future to support more bandwidth on single networks as devices increase load across the board. The Snapdragon 820, if properly implemented, supports MU-MIMO out of the box, meaning that entire generation of flagship smartphones will improve and accelerate adoption, moving user experiences upward.
Besides a demo showing MU-MIMO at work, Qualcomm also had a 60GHz 802.11ad system up and running, showing the performance capability of a network that requires (nearly) line of sight. At nearly 3.0 Gbps of bandwidth, the 802.11ad standard is built for ideas like wireless docking – having your tablet/laptop connect to a device already connected to a monitor, TV, keyboard, external storage, etc., without ever having to attach a wire to it.
Qualcomm's WiPower technology is based on the Rezence standard from the Alliance for Wireless Power, but has some interesting features that could make wireless charging a reality rather than a dream. First, it can support multiple devices and multiple charge rates with a single charger. It also doesn't require precision alignment of the device and the charging point making it much more of a "drop and go" process.
This charging technology also allows for space between the charger and the device which means your can retrofit furniture, cars, etc. take advantage of wireless charging without have to modify then or drill holes, etc. WiPower will even support charging through metal structures.