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It’s about time the Bluetooth headset shed the nerd-factor! This design by Erjon Hatillari was inspired by the simplicity of the Sony Vaio’s On/Off button and is almost as small. Using the same unique color scheme as the Vaio, the rechargeable earpiece’s chrome detail glows green during a call and orange when charging. In the form of a single earbud with one large button control, this design combines easy-to-use functionality with basic ergonomics into one sharp looking earpiece.

Designer: Erjon Hatillari

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Taken a look at our AllJoyn hands-on here at Mobile World Congress? You should, and then pick up here. Back? Good. Qualcomm’s FlashLinq is a quasi-extension of AllJoyn, but unlike the latter, this is a proprietary solution that actually requires Qualcomm hardware to run (for now anyway; licensing deals could be in the works). Basically, this wireless technology allows FlashLinq-enabled devices to sense up to 4,000 other FlashLinq devices within a radius of up to 1km, which puts things like WiFi and Bluetooth to shame. Of course, that’s under “ideal” circumstances, but even in subpar situations, the range should still beat out existing short-range alternatives. Why develop a solution like this? For one, businesses will be all over it; imagine a Yelp! instance that specifically hones in on businesses that have a FlashLinq-enabled device in their store, which is advertising deals for those who stop in and mention that FlashLinq sent ‘em. Secondly, social networking / Latitude addicts will be head over heels for something like this. Once a connection is made, there’s a steady 15Mbps beam available between the users — that’s more than enough for videochats, media streaming and multiplayer gaming.

The major difference between this and WiFi (aside from the range) is that unlike WiFi — which operates in unlicensed spectrum — FlashLinq requires licensed 5MHz TDD spectrum. That enables control over interference, which in turns boosts range and device density. Moreover, this system uses dramatically less power than BT or WiFi to sense other devices — you’re only using power for discovery two percent of the time, we’re told. Beyond that, a lot remains up in the air. The company is still hammering out which chips will ship with FlashLinq support, and it’ll be waiting for results from its SK Telecom trial (which starts in April) before committing to a commercialization date. Sadly, none of this can be retrofitted into older devices, but the good news is that it’s hardly limited to mobiles. FlashLinq-enabled televisions, laptops, in-car infotainment systems, etc. could all be used to create a discoverable network of interactive goodness, but of course, it’s hard to say how much success Qualcomm will have in a world already loaded down with connectivity options. The technology itself is fairly fascinating, though, as is the social networking demonstration that’s embedded just past the break. Hop on down and mash play, won’t you?

Gallery: Qualcomm’s FlashLinq long-range peer-to-peer communications tech at MWC 2011

Continue reading Qualcomm’s FlashLinq long-range peer-to-peer communications tech demoed at MWC (video)

Qualcomm’s FlashLinq long-range peer-to-peer communications tech demoed at MWC (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 16 Feb 2011 19:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: Engadget
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It’s simple, but highly complex. You dig? Qualcomm’s AllJoyn demonstration here at MWC was quite the eye-opener, but it’s hard to say how much traction it’ll gain in a world already inundated with short-range transfer protocols. Bluetooth, Infrared, Wi-Fi Direct… the list goes on and on (and on). Essentially, AllJoyn is an open-source software system that doesn’t actually have to run atop Qualcomm hardware; if implemented in a particular app, it can enable peer-to-peer sharing with others based on location. If you’re standing near someone who also has an AllJoyn-enabled application, you two (or more) can interact — if you’re both using Bluetooth, the range will be around 30 feet, but if you’re both using Wi-Fi, it’ll obviously be greater. Qualcomm’s hoping to entwine its homegrown FlashLinq (more on that in a separate article) in order to let people use this while being up to 1km away from one another.

The company describes AllJoyn as a software framework for developers that enables easy P2P access; rather than an app developer having to write this functionality in from scratch, they can simply grab Qualcomm’s code and integrate it. Currently, the spec only supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but Wi-Fi Direct and FlashLinq support it in the works, and those will hopefully be added by the end of the year. We’re told that the company’s also working to create a constant link between devices, which could one day (soon) enable streaming support. There’s C++, Java and Javascript models available, with Qualcomm’s goal being to have developers port this all over the place. The demo (embedded after the break) involved a foursome of phones sharing photographs with one another, while a nearby laptop was shown engaging in a multiplayer game with two smartphones. We were told that the company’s currently in talks with a number of large gaming firms to get this ingrained in future titles, but no specifics were available. Another application would be within a social network, enabling AllJoyn apps to alert users when a friend is nearby. A huge boon there is that this doesn’t require data, so international groups who’d like to keep tabs on one another’s location will be able to do so without roaming on a foreign network. So, any app developers considering bundling this in with your next update?

Gallery: Qualcomm’s AllJoyn peer-to-peer sharing / gaming technology at MWC 2011

Continue reading Qualcomm demos AllJoyn peer-to-peer sharing / gaming technology (video)

Qualcomm demos AllJoyn peer-to-peer sharing / gaming technology (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 16 Feb 2011 18:55:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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