Qualcomm's Wi-Fi coffee machine: High-tech caffeinated kicks

The Qualcomm-modified device can be controlled using a tablet, and notifies you when your brew is ready to imbibe.

BARCELONA, Spain--If you're sick of trekking to the coffee machine every time you want a fresh mugful, Qualcomm's concept Wi-Fi coffee machine may be right up your alley.

Making an understated appearance at Qualcomm's stand at Mobile World Congress, the machine is a standard coffeemaker that the processor company has hooked up to one of its Atheros 4100 chips.

Qualcomm Wi-Fi coffee machine
Qualcomm's tablet-controlled coffee-machine. Oh yes. Luke Westaway/CNET

To control it, Qualcomm's put several of its own platforms to work. Using Vuforia augmented reality tech, you wave your tablet's camera in front of the coffee machine until it's recognized, at which point you'll be taken to a control screen, where you can choose the strength, size, and brewing time of your java.

When your cup of Joe is complete, Qualcomm had a second tablet (this one was running Windows 8, while the first was Android-powered) set up to give you alerts, so you know when it's time to get up off the sofa and retrieve your precious caffeine.

Qualcomm Wi-Fi coffee machine notification
Coffee's done! Luke Westaway/CNET

The bad news is that this is only concept tech, which the purveyor of processors had built to show what can be achieved with some ordinary physical objects and a handful of Wi-Fi-capable chips.

While you won't be able to buy this device anytime soon, the whole system is built on the open-source Alljoyn platform, which Qualcomm tells me will actually be shipping with a variety of Qualcomm chips later this year. If you're feeling adventurous then, you could break out the soldering iron and have a go at building this coffee contraption yourself.

Qualcomm showed me similar chip-hacked setups, which allowed a tablet to control an alarm clock and function as a TV remote.

Would you like to control every household appliance through your smartphone? Or should some tech stay low-fi to cut down on the odds of it going wrong? Have your say in the comments below, and be sure to check out more of our Mobile World Congress coverage.

 

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