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Qualcomm Keynote: Windows 8 Reference Tablet, Lenovo TV with Android 4.0, and More

LAS VEGAS -- During a special CES 2012 keynote today, Qualcomm chief executive Dr. Paul Jacobs invited industry leaders to the stage to show off hardware leveraging the company's latest computer processors. The presentation included several innovative gadgets, including a concept tablet running Windows 8, a new smart television set from Lenovo, a color eReader from Mirasol and augmented reality software that uses Snapdragon processor power to bring virtual life to a Sesame Street playset.

The most impressive product showcased the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip-powered Windows 8 reference tablet. Jacobs shared that the chipset was more than powerful enough to run the Windows 8 interface on a touch-capable display, and demoed web browsing on the slate as it surfed the AT&T LTE network.

Before moving, the Qualcomm chief made a dig at competing chip makers, saying, "That's all running on an ARM processor--and by the way, no fan."

Later in the keynote, Jacobs was joined by Lenovo Vice President Liu Jun, who showed off a 55-inch Lenovo Smart TV that's launching soon in China. The set is the first Snapdragon-powered television and runs a version of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) skinned by the manufacturer. During the demo, Lenovo used a remote control that registered touch gestures and voice commands to change channels and play content.  

Qualcomm's next cool trick involved augmented reality in an execution we've never seen before. The demo used the back-facing camera of an Android tablet to capture live video of toy Sesame Street characters. The tablet then used special software that recognized the action figures, and on screen turned the toys into interactive video that spoke to the user. The software worked with several toys simultaneously, creating a unique experience where Bert and Ernie not only spoke to one another but also spoke to the user and interacted with other objects in the camera's view as the user watched and played along.

Jacobs explained that this software, the first of its kind, can recognize multiple real-world objects simultaneously. He added the software is intelligent enough to work with objects from any angle, and that it was, of course, powered by a Snapdragon CPU. 

Among the last products demoed was a Mirasol eReader set to debut in China. The Snapdragon-powered device featured a full color display capable of playing back video and audio. Rounding out the keynote was a slate of medical devices that relate medical data back to paired smartphones.