Qualcomm flicks switch on Internet-connected light bulbs

Qualcomm on Monday unveiled easy-to-use blueprints to help manufacturers make LED light bulbs that use the chipmaker’s wifi technology to connect to the Internet.

“Smart” light bulbs and other gadgets from thermostats to door locks packed with chips and sensors can be controlled remotely or programmed to turn on and off at different times or when people enter or leave their homes.

Qualcomm, the smartphone chipmaker based in San Diego, California, and rivals like Intel are rushing to stake out market share in the fast-growing sector.

Working with smart light bulb startup LIFX, Qualcomm is offering easy-to-implement wifi platforms designed for LED light bulbs as well as a complete design that covers the wifi and the light bulb itself.

Such reference designs are widely used by chipmakers in China to encourage companies making inexpensive smartphones to use their components.

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