ARM has over 500 engineers in India, a fifth of its global engineering base. In an exclusive interaction with TOI on a recent visit to Bengaluru (well before the announcement of ARM’s acquisition by SoftBank ), Graham Budd, the mobile chip designer’s chief operating officer (COO), talked about the future of mobile devices and the opportunities for India in internet-of-things (IoT), where everyday objects are connected to the internet.
In mobile devices, where are the big advances expected in the near term?
In the next couple of years, it’s going to be all about two things. First, your mobile device will become much more context aware. It kind of links to IoT (internet-of-things) as well, since it will interact with physical sensors in the surroundings. The other big thing relates to how you are going to interact with your mobile devices. There is already speech recognition and that’s improving, there’s gesture recognition. The whole experience of using a mobile device is becoming more natural.
Context aware and IoT – can you give an example of that?
Say, you are in a big convention centre, and you need to be at some particular sessions. If there are IoT beacons around that interacts with your mobile device, the mobile could tell where you are, and how you can get to where you need to go. That’s a simple application. But many more innovative applications will emerge as mobile device makers compete to differentiate themselves.
Speaking of speech recognition, when can I start simply dictating stories to my mobile phone so that it produces an accurate word document?
I’m not a writer myself, so I don’t know whether speech recognition is quite there yet. I suspect that it’s not. But the progress is rapid. It’s about having the processing power to run very complex algorithms that can do speech recognition while at the same time learn from the context – how you talk, recognize that you are talking to write an article.
You dominate the mobile device space. Any other big focus areas?
IoT is a big focus for us – we have very low power systems for IoT endpoints .
On the other end of the spectrum, we also focus today on high performance computing applications in networking. There is a trend towards putting more intelligence and more com puting into the network.
What are you doing in IoT?
We are trying to make it easier for startups and developers to create IoT systems or IoT endpoints. It’s still quite early days for mass-market adoption. We did a project with GE Lighting in San Diego that allows each streetlight to be remotely controlled individually and also monitored for its condition.
Do you see opportunities for India in IoT?
In India, I see lots of opportunities, in areas including agriculture, cattle farming, monitoring health of cows, ensuring optimum fertilizer, water and pesticides. An equally big opportunity for India arises from its 20-plus years of expertise in system integration. IoT is all about bringing software and hardware together to create software applications. That’s a particular skill many people and companies have in India.
IoT I think is poised for explosive growth, and the interesting thing about this is how diverse the different types of applications are. It’s that diversity that’s going to make system integration expertise so important. In fact, last year, UNICEF held a challenge to design wearables that can do good for the general population. Some 40-50 countries participated. The team from India, supported by the ARM India team, got the best design award. The product was called Khushi Baby , a necklace worn by a child that health workers can use to track the child’s immunization record.
Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/India-has-great-expertise-in-IoT-Graham-Budd-COO-ARM/articleshow/53278088.cms