Transformative Technology: Understanding Sustainability Impacts and Opportunities

Apr 20, 2017 2:00 PM ET

Originally posted in the 2016 Qualcomm Sustainability Report

For more than 30 years, we’ve been at the forefront of mobile technology – and we’re just getting started. Stemming from our industry expertise and long-time commitment to research and development, we are uniquely positioned to empower designers and developers to create new possibilities for our rapidly evolving world. We are at the hub of 5G innovation, spearheading the research efforts that will create the next global wireless revolution – just as we pioneered many of the building blocks for 3G and 4G.

Making one cutting-edge technology work well is difficult; making many of them work together is even harder. But that’s what we do. To us, “transformative technology” means using our expertise and our innovations to enhance quality of life around the globe. Step one? Understanding the many ways in which it can do so. 

Here's a look at what we accomplished in 2016:

Collaborated to Increase Connectivity in NYC: In New York, LinkNYC is a first-of-its kind communications network bringing the fastest available municipal Wi-Fi to millions by replacing the aging network of public payphones and transforming them into gigabit Wi-Fi stations. These re-imagined payphone booths not only house opportunity for exploration but also inspire connectivity, interaction and engagement while breaking down the digital divide. Each Link is also equipped with an emergency 911 call button and an integrated tablet that enables free domestic voice calling, access to maps and other city services.

Brought New Ideas to Life: The best innovations are made possible when the right people are empowered by the right technology. In Season 2 of our five-part competition series, #WhyWait Invent-Off, we gave two teams of makers, coders and inventors access to our groundbreaking technology and posed this $25,000 challenge: use the Internet of Things (IoT) to create something that saves a life. The winning team developed a mobile device and drone system that deploys anti-venom to snakebite victims, while the opposing team created an alarm and notification system to aid bike riders in need of emergency services after an accident. At Qualcomm, where we foster invention every day, we can’t wait to see what these young inventors come up with next.

Inventing for a Better, Safer Ride: With expertise, experience and the support of the automotive industry, we are taking next-generation connectivity on the road, resulting in vehicles that are more intelligent, autonomous, cleaner and safer. What started as traditional telematics services now supports always-on connections for mobile broadband networks, in-car infotainment systems and brought-in mobile devices. As a result, the car is becoming more informative, entertaining and interactive for passengers, while increasing driver efficiency and ease of use. Our wireless technology is also at the center of many other smart transportation innovations, from parking meters to mass transit to wireless charging for electric vehicles.

Electric Vehicle Charging Without the Wires: For electric vehicles to reach a tipping point, they need to be easy and simple to charge. Qualcomm Halo™ Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) is a highly efficient technology – drivers simply park and charge without the need for plug-in cables or adaptors. Developed over many years, this technology uses resonant magnetic induction to wirelessly transfer energy from a ground-based pad to a pad integrated into the vehicle.

To learn more about our approach to transformative technology, check out, check out the 2016 Qualcomm Sustainability Report.