Qualcomm has unveiled a new platform for live video cameras, that it claims offers a more intelligent, Internet-connected option to professional security camera users.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 618 IP combines the company's existing technologies for processing, connectivity, imaging and analytics with powerful new hardware that it believes will make the smart camera obsolete. In its place, Qualcomm has coined the phrase "conscious camera" to describe a camera system that can perform its own analytics instead of moving all that data to server or cloud-based analytic solutions.

The company says that the Snapdragon 618 platform encompasses a reference design and IP camera SDK that supports "4K HEVC video, comprehensive connectivity and heterogeneous computing for video analytics." The platform's key selling point seems to be this "conscious camera" approach, which brings advanced video analytics to professionals, including object detection, facial detection and recognition, multi-object tracking and Qualcomm's Zeroth object classification. And it's all done in-camera.

Snapdragon 618 only streams data "when qualified events happen," according to Qualcomm, allowing it to significantly lower its bandwidth needs by at least 50 percent. Camera-based analytics are faster and more reliable, as well, which should contribute to financial savings in other ways as well.

Qualcomm's senior vice president and general manager, Anthony Murray, believes that "a new class of big data applications" will be made possible by Snapdragon 618. Its features include six-core 64-bit Snapdragon 618 CPU architecture, integrated X8 LTE with Global Mode with advanced carrier aggregation, LTE Cat 7, comprehensive WiFi connectivity, next-gen Adreno GPU and Hexagon DSP, and dual image signal processors that support up to 21MP images and 4K video.

Distribution and support are being handled by Thundersoft, which collaborated with Qualcomm on the new platform.

The Snapdragon 618 IP is available today for select OEMs and will be available in commercial cameras sometime in the first half of 2016. Companies interested in pre-ordering the reference design should visit ipc.thundersoft.com.

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