LAS VEGAS--Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs is about to speak here at CES 2010. We'll be posting frequent updates once he gets started, in about five minutes.
Update 11:20 a.m.: Jacobs opens his speech with a prediction: that all consumer electronics devices will essentially be phones one day. Because inside they'll have chips from cell phones for downloading books, apps, and connecting to other devices. This is what he'll be talking about today.
Update 11:25 a.m.: A lot of computing power is going into mobile phones, and that will impact the user experience, Jacobs says. To that end, Qualcomm wants to offer a lot of different platform options for phones. Qualcomm is adding Chrome OS as one of its supported operating systems.
HTC CEO Peter Chou joins Jacobs onstage. Chou is here to show off the Google Nexus One--introduced officially earlier this week--and the HTC Smart, a new phone. The HTC Smart is a cheaper phone for the masses. It uses Qualcomm's chips and software he calls HTC Sense. Based on the Brew Mobile Platform, it integrates all information streams into one place, he says. No need for multiple applications.
Update 11:35 a.m.: Jacobs returns. "We had this vision that the wireless Internet would fundamentally change the world," he says. "I think that's what's happening right now, with all these app developers." Wireless is going to impact every part of life, and all sorts of new device categories have resulted: smartbooks, e-readers, digital picture frames.
Wireless is having a huge impact on computing, which is why they developed Snapdragon, Jacobs says. There are 40 different smartbooks and smartphones now being designed with it in inside.
Update 11:45 a.m.: Yuanqing Yang, CEO of Lenovo, joins Jacobs onstage. "The mobile Internet era is coming," he says, and the traditional notebook will still play a key role, he says. People want more of a small form factor, but a machine that easily connects to the Web. Rather than for office use, it's for elsewhere.
"We believe there are two new categories emerging," Yang says, the smartbook and smartphone categories. He introduces Lenovo's first smartbook, called Skylight. It's thinner than a notebook, always connected, and has an all-day battery, he says.
The Skylight is compact like a Netbook, but with rounded corners. They demo the downloadable gadgets, or widgets, on it. It's made for movies, music, Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, and Web browsing.
Hewlett-Packard Executive Vice President of Personal Systems Todd Bradley is up next. "Connectivity is the next revolution in mobile products," Bradley says. Though HP isn't going to make any announcements specifically, he will be making some products with Android OS and based on Snapdragon. He demonstrates a Netbook that looks like the Mini series HP makes. But this one is based on Android, is always connected to the Web, has a touch screen, and a slightly different user interface (than Android on a smartphone) to accommodate the larger screen.
Update 12:05 p.m.: Smartbooks are going to lower the cost of mobile computing, Jacobs says. Many people around the world only have a cell phone to get online. Qualcomm has a wireless initiative called Wireless Reach that uses 3G to help underserved communities. "Why are we doing this? The digital divide is growing between those who have access to the network and those who don't," he says.
The area it's having the most impact is in education, according to Jacobs. Besides connecting kids, wireless is also going to help reduce the number of books kids have to carry, and the way they interact with displays. Qualcomm is working on a new display technology called Mirasol, it is viewable in sunlight and is easier on battery life. It's like E-Ink but with color and full-motion video.
Health care is another area where wireless will matter, in both emerging and developed markets. People are aging, and doctors are aging too, so wireless is going to help make doctors more efficient, Jacobs says. Dr. Eric Topol, chief medical officer of the West Wireless Health Institute, comes on stage to talk about digital health with Jacobs.
He points out the Nike iPod gadget, the FitBit, Philips' DirectLife (both wireless pedometers) are helping regular people be healthier because they can track their exercise progress wirelessly. But hospitals can track patients wirelessly too. Through a phone Topol shows how he can track the vital signs of a patient in Texas in real time through his phone.
He also demonstrates a handheld ultrasound machine by GE, hooked up to a tiny cell-phone like screen. Using the device on himself, Topol shows what his own heart looks like. The images from the handheld ultrasound can then be transmitted wirelessly, for example, to an iPhone.
Update 12:20 p.m.: Jacobs moves on from health to the home. The CEO of D-link, Tony Tsao, comes out to talk about how media will be moved around the home without wires. Using D-Link's wireless adapter you can have a cable box, a DVR, media adapter, or a PC hooked up to any TV in the house. It will be available in Q2 this year, Tsao says.
Now Jacobs is talking about making television personal. He demonstrates a FloTV device, essentially a portable television. Audiovox is going to make a portable DVD player with FloTV this year, adding to the FloTV products it already makes. And Mophie, which makes the JuicePack, is going to offer a FloTV version of the device, which will bring FloTV to both the iPhone and iPod Touch, Jacobs says.
Coming this year there will be far more sports programming on FloTV, since that's a huge driver, he says. CBS Sports announcer James Brown joins Jacobs onstage to talk about how portable sports programming will impact sports fans. To end, they give away 300 FloTV devices to people in the audience, which naturally elicits lots of applause.