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Qualcomm learning how to incubate new technologies

Stephen Lawson | March 12, 2013
Qualcomm has a big, well-funded research and development operation, but its program for commercializing new innovations is still a learning experience for the wireless chip maker.

If 2Net and Gimbal are examples of how Qualcomm Labs can turn a new idea into a business opportunity, that formula wasn't obvious from the beginning. At first, Labs focused on mobile apps and services aimed directly at consumers, but that turned out to be the wrong path, Gasser said.

"If you can create interest at a consumer level, you can drive demand and pull through interesting technologies. That's fine," Gasser said. "That's not us. That's actually not who we are as a company."

Qualcomm Labs then pivoted to focusing on platforms and underlying software for technologies that can push more mobile use, such as machine-to-machine networking, connected homes and the health and "sixth sense" systems the company talked about on Friday.

If Qualcomm advances those technologies right, they could drive massive sales of connected devices and higher mobile processing requirements that Qualcomm can then fulfill, Gasser said.

Still, it's too soon to say whether Qualcomm Labs has had a major impact on Qualcomm's course as a company, Gasser conceded.

"I don't think we're far enough to call success or otherwise at this point in time," Gasser said.

 

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