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Qualcomm Skifta plugs streaming music for smart home

Mobile-networking company Qualcomm introduces its Skifta Media Shifting Platform for creating a wireless music network at home, part of a strategy of supplying gear for connected home entertainment systems.

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs, seen here at an event last year, is speaking this morning at CES. Brooke Crothers

Qualcomm wants you to a have home full of smart, wirelessly connected electronics.

The company today at CES announced its Skifta Media Shifting Platform for streaming music across multiple devices and other components aimed at getting home entertainment gear connected.

Qualcomm's Skifta is software that lets people stream media among different devices, such as showing photos from an Android smartphone on a TV or streaming music stored on a home PC over the Internet to another location. It's based on the DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) home media networking protocol, which is supposed to ensure interoperability across products from multiple suppliers.

Today, Qualcomm is introducing a hardware development kit for manufacturers to make a wireless adapter that can be fitted onto existing audio devices. With those products, consumers will be able to create a whole-home music network, similar to Sonos' wireless music systems. Expected in the first half of the year, the audio system is first of a line of streaming-media kits, including video, aimed at hardware makers.

With Skifta, Qualcomm is trying to promote the notion of streaming media between devices, in an effort to create product demand. "We want to introduce more consumers to the experience of unfettered wireless access and control of the content and electronic devices they use in their everyday lives," Dan Rabinovitsj, general manager of the Qualcomm Atheros networking business unit, said in a statement.

  • In other announcements, Qualcomm announced a version of its Snapdragon processor, now used in smartphones and tables, for smart TVs. It said that Lenovo's K91 Smart TV, which will run Android 4.0, will have Wi-Fi networking for access to online apps and multi-player gaming.
  • Qualcomm Atheros introduced its first chips for Wi-Fi Display, a protocol that will allow devices such as TVs and smart phones or tablets to connect directly, rather than communicate through a router. By connecting directly, people will be able to share media across devices in a faster, more efficient way, according to the company.
CNET will be live-blogging Qualcomm's 8:30 a.m. Pacific press conference at CES where CEO Paul Jacobs will be speaking. You can tune in here.