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Thursday, Sep 5
Qualcomm launches Toq smartwatch in effort to sell chips, Mirsasol displays
- Though Samsung's Galaxy Gear is getting more headlines, Qualcomm (QCOM) has launched a smartwatch of its own, albeit as a proof-of-concept.
- Qualcomm's bulky Toq smartwatch, shown off at the company's annual Uplinq developer conference, makes use of the company's low-power Mirasol displays. Mirasol was pitched as the e-reader display tech of the future before a lack of demand led Qualcomm to end production last year.
- Toq also features Qualcomm's WiPower LE wireless charging tech, can receive smartphone notifications via the company's AllJoyn framework, and presumably has a Qualcomm CPU inside. (PR)
- Other Toq features, such as text-message viewing, Bluetooth connectivity, 3rd-party app support, and the ability to control a phone's music player, strongly resemble those found in the Gear.
- "We expect to make tens of thousands of these, not hundreds of thousands ... A success, for us, looks like our partners picking up and running with this." says exec Rob Chandhok. The company's apparent goal with Toq is to get OEMs to make similar smartwatches, thereby boosting chip sales and saving Mirasol from the technology scrap heap.
- Broadcom (BRCM), which just stepped up its efforts to compete against Qualcomm in the 4G baseband chip market, also sees much potential in wearable device chip sales. The company is hoping OEMs embrace its WICED platform, which allows embedded devices to quickly add low-power, Wi-Fi-based, Internet connectivity.