Qualcomm’s LTE Direct offers Battery Saving Contextual Awareness

July 24, 2014 - Written By Joshua Koh

There are a myriad of apps that require location awareness to provide contextually sensitive information. These can range from Foursquare, Google Maps to Google Now and as a result of this, battery life of mobile devices take a hit. This happens as the combination of Bluetooth, GPS and Wifi has to be switched on so as to enable this functionality.

Qualcomm believes it has the solution to this battery crunching problem through LTE Direct. This is a D2D or device to device communication of around 500 metres to exchange information. To put it simply, it is similar to P2P or Peer to Peer communication over an LTE network. The advantages here, is that devices no longer need to keep pinging for location but offloads the legwork to LTE network thereby saving battery life.  Another possible feature would be that of quicker and more efficient device to device transfers or sync via LTE network without the need of apps.

Another interesting aspect is that of coverage. As LTE Direct utilises mobile networks, this means it has a wider range or reach then that of existing technologies, making it a great deal more useful in reaching the masses. Qualcomm has also indicated that LTE Direct is somewhat privacy sensitive as devices do not reveal their identity or precise location. However as some possible applications for LTE Direct include searching and push advertising, this could possibly mean that it could be used to send out spam. In addition, as there is no mention of security functionality, a malicious user could use LTE Direct for nefarious purposes.

As of now, LTE Direct is currently under testing. The potential of better D2D communications is interesting to say the least, but it would probably help if more light was shed on how data is secured. To this end, Qualcomm is planning to show unique cases for LTE Direct at a Sans Francisco developers conference on September 18-19. Hopefully, this will reveal more information as to how LTE Direct functions.