Qualcomm raises curtain on third smart cities accelerate event

Qualcomm kicked off its third annual Smart Cities Accelerate event on Tuesday by promoting its expanded global ecosystem of more than 400 members including system integrators, designers and manufacturers--many engaged in IoT projects through Qualcomm’s IoT Services Suite.

The company promotes itself as offering a full stack of technologies-- from chips to software and services--that cross more than 30 verticals such as construction management, traffic management and fleet management. The end uses are not just urban and include wildlife monitoring and chicken farming, even as the chipmaker has retained the “smart cities” branding.

A live keynote panel for the event includes CEO Cristiano Amon along with basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Jim Reynolds, co-founders of JLC Infrastructure which joined with IGNITE Cities and Qualcomm in 2020 to collaborate on  smart city technologies.

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Qualcomm said Booz Allen Hamilton has joined the accelerator program as a system integrator, with the ability to bid on government RFP’s for projects. Booz Allen Hamilton brings Qualcomm even greater access to some federal projects with its McLean, Virginia, headquarters and team of 28,000 workers.

Testimonials from partners included one from NoTraffic, which has collaborated with Qualcomm to help cities and traffic agencies in the U.S. and Canada in reducing traffic delays and  CO2 pollution while improving safety. “The collaboration with Qualcomm gives us access to innovative technology on the one hand and to strategic, mobility-focused initiatives on the other hand, generating a win-win-win scenario in the IoT as-a-service domain,” said Tal Kreisler, co-founder and CEO, in a statement. Qualcomm’s Connected Vehicle Communications technology is a component of the NoTraffic Autonomous Traffic Management platform, he added.

In an interview, Qualcomm’s Sanjeet Pandit, senior director of business development and global head of smart cities, described how construction safety as a service is ripe for growth, giving construction managers a single pane of glass for following workers on job sites  using lidar and thermal cameras over private 5G and V-RAN networks.

Pandit said one of the more unusual use cases Qualcomm has worked on is a chicken farming operation in early stages in Thailand with high definition cameras, automation and AI used to detect when chickens are thirsty.  An algorithm designed by farmers notices when chickens in hatcheries need water, which is  signaled when the chickens raise their heads.  That motion, when detected by cameras and a network, in turn triggers a water system to fill bowls with water and begin spraying a fine mist over the heads of the chickens.  The operation is installed at Khon Kean University in Thailand with Xingtera as a partner.