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Snapdragon to power smart TV, mobile medical devices (live blog)

Qualcomm's CEO snags a coveted keynote slot, focusing on the Snapdragon processor and all things mobile.

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs at CES 2012. James Martin/CNET

LAS VEGAS--Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor will be tucked inside hundreds of new devices, including a smart TV, a new color e-reader in China, a tablet for kids that can offer augmented reality, and mobile medical devices, the company said during its CES keynote address here Tueday.

Paul Jacobs, Qualcomm's CEO, used much of his CES keynote to tout the continually growing mobile industry and ushered a half-dozen guests onstage to show off various devices that use its Snapdragon chip.

The first smart TV powered by a Snapdragon processor is set to arrive this year, a Lenovo executive said during the event.

Qualcomm also announced an e-reader with Mirasol technology, which unlike e-ink allows for color and can run video. The Hanvon tablet will be available in China starting next month.

The company also announced the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize, designed to create the next generation of medical tools. The prize is $10 million with a goal to revolutionize health care. The winning team has to create something that allows individuals to diagnose themselves and is fun to use.

Qualcomm is putting special focus on emerging markets, Jacobs said. Life in emerging countries is becoming even more mobile-centric than in modern countries, he noted.

Qualcomm expects that the mobile business will become a $1.3 trillion industry and that another 1.3 billion new mobile connections will emerge in the coming years.

In 2015, roughly half of all smartphones will ship to emerging markets, Jacobs said. Those countries tend to be price sensitive, which is why Jacobs said Qualcomm's less expensive chips can prosper there.

Qualcomm also touted its do-good activities. For example, the company has partnered with Sesame Workshop in India to help prepare kids for school by delivering educational material through phones.

Jacobs also showed off Qualcomm's Vuforia, an electronic eye that sees what you see and overlays virtual objects on top of it. It basically brings to life 3D objects.

A Qualcomm demo used a tablet to activate a virtual Bert and Ernie by putting the toys on a special playset mat. It combines traditional toys with augmented reality and a mobile device.

The Snapdragon processor powers 300 different devices, with another 350 in development, Jacobs said. The Snapdragon S4 will drive the next generation of devices, including TVs and notebooks, he said.

Jacobs touted Qualcomm's alliance with Microsoft and reminded the audience that all Windows Phone devices run on Snapdragon. He also said Qualcomm is eager to help power the next billion phones that Nokia hopes to sell in the emerging markets.

Jacobs noted Windows 8's support for ARM and Snapdragon processors. He called Windows 8 a game changer.

Eric Topol, chief academic officer for Scripps Health, took the stage to show off a device that can monitor pulse using an attachment and a smartphone. Topol also showed off a wrist device that can monitor heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and temperature. Jacobs called it an ICU on your watch. In addition, Topol sees a future in embedded sensors that go into your body and, for example, could detect a possible heart attack long before it happens.

Editors note: This story originally published at 5:30 p.m. PT January 9. It was updated at 7:55 a.m. PT and 10:15 a.m. PT January 10.