Tag Archive: BREW

Short Voice Service

Qualcomm has been very invested in the wide adoption of devices that use data as well as voice. As well, serving the next billion cell phone users was at the forefront of strategists minds.

I got on a team creating prototype applications for emerging markets. In this capacity, I wrote Short Voice Service, a BREW reference application for peer-to-peer voice messaging, a variation of which is now in use in India.

The peer-to-peer aspect is interesting. Phones need to make a data connection to send and receive data. They don’t keep an open channel and they get a new IP address each time a connection is made. To bypass the need for a server, the sender records the message, opens a data call, gets an IP address and sends it in a text message to the receiver saying “there’s a voice message at”. The receiver then opens a data call to the waiting sender and pulls the message across. The transfer can also occur with a server intermediary.

Being able to send a voice message from phone to phone has some kind of interesting attributes not found in other channels of communication.

  • It’s like texting, without the typing.
  • It’s like voicemail, without listening to the recorded message telling you what to do.
  • It’s a message without the conversation.
  • It conveys more emotion than email.

A funny ad came out that illustrates the importance of properly creating that emotion:


Image-based Search

Qualcomm holds an annual innovation contest to harvest new business ideas from its offices and labs around the world.

My team came up with a winning business plan and was able to start a new research initiative in image-recognition-based search using mobile phones. I pitched in by writing part of the business plan, the BREW and Windows Mobile client demo applications and the project web site. The demo could identify thousands of beer, wine and DVD labels.

While the idea did not fit well in the company’s business model, developing the technology to make Qualcomm chipsets excel when used for image recognition was identified as an important objective.

The concept has actually hit the market via Google with their Goggles product seen below as predicted in our competitive analysis. Taking a picture of labels,text, bar codes, and one day even faces leads to the search that the app thinks you are likely to want.

Combined with GPS, previous behavior, time of day and other inputs, the search intelligence of mobile apps will continue to grow.