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The new software platform will initially target “real-time supply chain visibility and intelligence”

This week Qualcomm announced the availability of the Qualcomm Aware Platform. This new paid software service “empowers developers and enterprises to harness real-time information and data insights to accelerate their digital transformation programs”, according to the company.

Qualcomm says the new platform combines their silicon and its accompanying ecosystem of hardware and software partners with a developer-friendly cloud framework. Qualcomm Aware will “offer a set of differentiated services for managing assets that require critical, accurate, and time-sensitive decision making”, they promise.

Tracking the supply chain

The Qualcomm Aware platform will do this by providing “ubiquitous global connectivity”, while optimizing and fusing location technologies with sensor alerts and critical device management and control features. The service will provide a new baseline for IoT, (Internet of Things), Qualcomm says, even as it helps enterprises drive operational efficiencies. The critical use cases for the new platform include cold chain distribution, utility asset monitoring, cargo shipment tracking, warehouse and inventory management.  

Most of these IoT trackers are made by third parties. However, Qualcomm does make some of the devices used, such as a tilt sensor that can be attached to utility poles to report whether they have toppled over during storms.

Qualcomm has already shipped hundreds of millions of the chips involved, which typically cost less than $10 each, Jeff Torrance, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm’s smart connected systems business, told Reuters in an interview.

A new business model

Qualcomm Aware will allow Qualcomm to offer and monetize services beyond the sale of chipsets in the form of recurring, subscription-based revenues. Through “the continuous improvement of software”, the company says their new platform will provide a wide range of expanded and improved features that will result in improved services, security and performance for Qualcomm Aware managed devices.

“We believe there’s value in the chip and in the cloud service,” Torrance told Reuters.