Qualcomm Focuses IoT On Connected Cities

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Qualcomm predicts that by 2050, 70 percent of people worldwide will live in urban environments. With that forecast, the company is focusing its Internet of Things technology on applications and devices for smart cities of the future.

At CES, Qualcomm demonstrated three connected devices for urban areas: a camera and sensor-outfitted streetlight; connected, communicating trashcans; and reborn telephone booths turned smart kiosk.

"Now you [can] create multiuse infrastructure," said Qualcomm's Michael Roberts. In that sense, a streetlight not only provides visibility for commuters, but also tracks street activity and limits crime. Rarely used payphone booths left over from the last millennium become tablet-enabled kiosks that provide tourists and urbanites with smart maps and information, while also displaying constantly rotating advertisements.

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Qualcomm has partnered with smart-trash company BigBelly to solve downtown waste management issues, as well, with garbage pail sensors signaling full trash cans that need attention. That means cleaner cities for the multitude of residents expected to move in.

"It's a very exciting time in cities today. [Qualcomm is] not only improving citizenship for end users, but also for cities to find more efficient ways to do things," Roberts said.