We already know that Qualcomm is very serious about IoT, but it is about to make a new push in Connected Cameras and enable partners to create pressure and disruption in the coming months. Qualcomm will address that market with a complete Connected Camera platform that is pretty much ready-to-use. It offloads a huge chunk of the electronic and communications development from partners, leaving OEMs to create the Industrial Design and Services.
Connected Cameras are a prime target for innovation, and Qualcomm knows it. For the past few years, very little has changed, except for modest resolution increases (to 1080p), with major connected camera companies. Cameras have been only very mildly smarter, and there is almost no price pressure on the hardware (~$200), despite it being largely outperformed by smartphones that sell in the same $200 range (no contract price).
With Snapdragon 625 and the Snapdragon IP Camera platform, the next generation of cameras could benefit from a lot of the work done by Qualcomm for phone cameras. This covers a very wide array of features, including image quality, but also 4K, Image stabilization, deep learning AI (inference) capabilities that would greatly benefit such imaging devices. My Camera still freaks out and sends me an alert when the neighbor’s cat shows up.
Already introduced in 2015 with Snapdragon-powered cameras, this Qualcomm initiative puts the power of today’s mid-range phones ($200-$300) into a connected camera chassis. Qualcomm supports Linux and has all the proper drivers for that platform.
It would be very interesting if a cloud company could create a Connected Camera cloud storage that is open to 3rd party cameras – THAT would put real pressure on camera price levels and quality. At a minimum, we hope that all kinds of cameras will become smarter, with the ability to recognize people, automatically highlight interesting scenes for shorter reviews, or have communications capabilities far beyond what exists today.