Qualcomm has outlined its expectations for a "Digital 6th Sense" - the integration of augmented reality technologies that aren't just marketing gimmicks but which streamline the way we interact with devices and content. CEO Paul Jacobs demonstrated two implementations at IQ2011 this morning, first a DVD/Blu-ray preview system that can display multiple trailer streams based on which DVD cases your smartphone camera is pointed at, and then a gesture-based interface that turns a handset's microphone into an ultrasound sensor. It's what Jacobs describes as the company's vision of "the internet of everything."
In the DVD preview demo, which you can see in the video below,
by showing the barcode on the back of a DVD case [Update: it actually recognizes the front cover of the DVD] to your phone you can instantly see live streams of the movie trailer overlaid on top. Multiple DVDs can be recognized simultaneously, with focus changing depending on where you point the camera (or touch the display) with audio fading in and out between them.
Of course, this isn't just limited to trailer clips: in other potential implementations, as discussed at Uplinq earlier this year, you could also order the DVD online, find out more information about it or share it on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.
In Qualcomm's second demo, the size limitations of a touchscreen were bypassed by using the regular microphone as a sonar sensor. Hand gestures made in front of the phone - similar to what you'd do to control Microsoft's Kinect - then allow you to sweep through a carousel UI, select different apps and services, and navigate content.
Similar tech should come into its own when you're relying on your smartphone as a hub for the center of your digital life, streaming media and internet to nearby TVs and other hardware. "We want to move content from our phone to our TV, or to other people's devices" Dr. Craig Barratt, president of Qualcomm Atheros Inc. explained.
"You've heard people talk about the "internet of things" - we believe in the "internet of everything." Not just hundreds of connected devices around you, but thousands of them … There will be a sea of sensors around us, and we'll be able to access them with our phone" Paul Jacobs, CEO, Qualcomm