Print 26 comment(s) - last by Moishe.. on Nov 21 at 3:36 PM

  (Source: Qualcomm)
New smartwatch is a rare consume product for company who is best known for its mobile chipmaking

Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) today announced the availability of its Toq smartwatch computer, a device which competes with the $300 USD Galaxy Gear from Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) and the $199 USD SmartWatch 2 from Sony Corp. (TYO:6758).

Priced at $349.99 USD, the Toq is the priciest of the high profile smartwatch offerings.  Powered by a special version of Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android operating system, Toq does have some unique perks, such as the low power color E-INK-like Mirasol display, a proprietary technology developed at Qualcomm and inspired by butterfly wings.  It also features wireless charging.  Basic included apps include an Accuweather Android weather forecast app, an optimized version of the Android E Trade Financial Corp. (ETFC) app, a messaging app, and a phone answering app (in case you want to talk into your watch).

The device launches on Dec. 2 -- a wild day of online shopping commonly known as "Cyber Monday".

Qualcomm Toq smart watch
Quacomm Toq [Image Source: AnandTech]

Qualcomm is best known for its Snapdragon family of mobile chips, which are a popular third party solution for tablets and smartphones.  While Samsung does produce reference platforms for OEMs integrating these chips, it has rarely actually released a device to the consumer market, making Toq a rather interesting oddball product to watch.

Both Google and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) are rumored to have their own branded smartwatches under development (under the respective Nexus and Surface brands).

Source: Qualcomm [press release]

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Zero Interest
By Mitch101 on 11/18/2013 5:07:20 PM , Rating: 4
This is one tech I have zero interest in. I just dont see the point. Who here wants this and why?

RE: Zero Interest
By Reclaimer77 on 11/18/2013 5:20:29 PM , Rating: 2
Well no but I don't wear watches, period.

If I did, this technology could eventually become compelling. I still think something like Google Glass is a superior format for wearable tech though.

RE: Zero Interest
By Mitch101 on 11/18/2013 5:37:12 PM , Rating: 2
For Google glass I think it will be beneficial in the mobile device but not as a pair of glasses. Id much rather raise my phone and get some info through the screen than to wear the glasses. Seems silly to wear the glasses for 20 seconds worth of the popup info. Still Ill have to try it someday to see if its something that makes sense. I generally don't like things that are in my line of sight why I hate wearing ski goggles I feel they block my view.

RE: Zero Interest
By daboom06 on 11/18/2013 5:46:48 PM , Rating: 2
i think you just compared google glass to ski goggles...

RE: Zero Interest
By Mitch101 on 11/18/2013 7:13:41 PM , Rating: 2
I just don't like things that obstruct my view. I just cant see wearing google glasses for more than a blip. Im sure while driving would be a lawsuit waiting to happen.

RE: Zero Interest
By ritualm on 11/18/2013 7:49:03 PM , Rating: 2
Im sure while driving would be a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Then the laws need to be changed, because in about ten or so years we could have all the capabilities of the current Google Glass in an ordinary pair of prescription glasses.

RE: Zero Interest
By Flunk on 11/19/2013 11:02:56 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, they need to limit use of non-driving related screens of all kinds in automobiles. I don't have an issue with heads up displays that aid in driving, it's distracting entertainment and communications devices that need to go.

This is going to be a big problem for a while before they get all of this sorted out.

RE: Zero Interest
By Reclaimer77 on 11/18/2013 8:25:21 PM , Rating: 1
Wtf are you talking about? They put infotainment systems and giant 7" displays in cars where the driver actually has to take his eyes completely off the road to view.

Google Glass is way less distracting that that. You NEVER lose focus.

RE: Zero Interest
By Strunf on 11/19/2013 7:33:34 AM , Rating: 3
What do you care about the 7" display, hell it could be even 40" for as long as it isn't between your eyes and the road, knowing that today you don't have to pass a stupidity test to get your driving license chances are people will start reading the news or watching some youtube while driving, Google Glass brings 0 improvements to the driving experience while potentially bringing a load of safety problems.
Mobile phones (including with hands free) are already a plague with many people getting killed cause someone was on the phone, I don't care if you're on the phone and kill yourself against a tree or a wall the problem is when you take someone else with you.

With Google Glass it could be even worst as our brain will focus on what your eye is looking to and forget everything else.

RE: Zero Interest
By jRaskell on 11/19/2013 8:00:47 AM , Rating: 2
You've obviously never used a Heads Up Display.

Also, stupid people are going to do stupid things regardless. Using that as an excuse against the proper use of new technology is asinine.

RE: Zero Interest
By Reclaimer77 on 11/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: Zero Interest
By Strunf on 11/20/2013 8:24:58 AM , Rating: 3
You fail to see the difference between technology that is made to help you and technology that is there for your entertainment, Google Glass is more of the second than of the first, sure it could be used to help you by conveying USEFULL information, but the fact remains people will mostly use it to read the news or something else, it's always like this, anyone arguing that Google Glass will improve safety is fooling itself, for 1 person using it as driver assistant there will be 10 using to read the news.

I wouldn't have any problem with Google Glass if the moment your car starts moving Google Glass would turn into a HUD and not allow you to change its mode.

RE: Zero Interest
By Reclaimer77 on 11/18/2013 5:51:41 PM , Rating: 2
Id much rather raise my phone and get some info through the screen than to wear the glasses.

Even while driving or doing other eye-intensive activities?

Since the dawn of sci-fi man has yearned for a holographic or transparent computer interface or HUD projected at a persons eye. We're finally on the cusp of that reality, and haters all want to poo-poo it.

Google Glass is going to be like the capacitive touch screen. After it becomes "the thing" we'll wonder how we ever got on without it.

Although even better than Glass are the smart contacts! But that looks like it's a lot further out as it's a more complex issue.

RE: Zero Interest
By jimbojimbo on 11/18/2013 5:55:57 PM , Rating: 2
Even while driving or doing other eye-intensive activities?
How about stop doing those things before pulling out the phone or staring off at something? What's so important?

RE: Zero Interest
By Reclaimer77 on 11/18/2013 6:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
Are you a Luddite? Google Glass or a similar technology may one day find it's way into the medical field or any number of work-related areas that can really benefit from it.

Are you going to yell at your doctor when he's monitoring your vitals with Google Glass "OMG what's so important!!! Stop what you're doing and read my chart!!"

This is a technology community. At least act like you should be here...

RE: Zero Interest
By Just Tom on 11/19/2013 11:41:23 AM , Rating: 2
He's a Luddite because he objects to the use of Google Glass during driving?

And no, I personally would not yell at my doctor if he was monitoring my vitals with Google Glass but I certainly would at my taxi driver.

RE: Zero Interest
By troysavary on 11/19/2013 5:23:23 AM , Rating: 1
Just because it was featured in sci-fi doesn't mean people actually will want it. After all, I don't know anyone who wants aliens to lay eggs inside them and have the babies chew their way out, but it was pretty cool on screen.

RE: Zero Interest
By gookpwr on 11/18/2013 5:55:04 PM , Rating: 2
I can't wait to get this or the Google watch!!! I've been watching the Toq pretty closely and I personally think I can benefit a lot from it. Always on so its a cool watch, Compass when hiking, calender/to do list, heart rate monitor when lifting weights/running, can change songs without pulling out my phone when running or riding my crotch rocket, have an auto response to incoming texts when riding, and GPS on it would be cool too when I don't want to burn up my phone battery getting someplace, or there isn't anyplace to put my phone like on my bike. But hey that's just me. If you couldn't see yourself using it that's ok, just know there are people out there that will get a great deal of good use out of this. Especially since it lasts longer than a day.

RE: Zero Interest
By ritualm on 11/18/2013 7:45:20 PM , Rating: 2
GPS on it would be cool too when I don't want to burn up my phone battery getting someplace

While your phone loses a lot of power to run that Bluetooth radio in order to maintain a connection with the watch. Brilliant thinking.

My biggest issues with this have to do with 1) first and foremost, battery life between charges, and 2) $350 asking price.

RE: Zero Interest
By tayb on 11/18/2013 6:18:36 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Fitbit and I really like it. I wouldn't mind having a more intelligent watch to wear that tracked my activity, steps, vibrated to wake me up, and allowed me to quickly glance at notifications.

The problem is twofold. First is my expectations for battery life on a wrist watch. I need at least 10 days between charges. The second is price. My cap is about $130 which is about $200 less than this thing.

The idea of a smart watch is interesting to me but the technology really isn't there at all right now.

RE: Zero Interest
By vol7ron on 11/18/2013 11:06:16 PM , Rating: 2
Coming from someone that likes gadgets in general, and separately, watches as well. I would like one, if not just to have one.

My functional uses would be:
1) Exercise - instead of running with your phone (as GPS), this would be nice to couple with a bluetooth headset and go for a run (if it had GPS) with a minimal playlist. Of course, there are other GPS watches out there, but this has the nice ability to quickly pair with your main media center (phone/computer) quickly after a workout

2) An indicator - speaking as someone whose developed a habit of staying on top of text messages, emails, alerts, news, etc; I am constantly checking my phone. A flip of the wrist is much easier than questioning if your phone just vibrated in your pocket. This would probably be my biggest reason. I don't expect to use the watch to respond (maybe delete), otherwise, just as a quick indicator and possibly a previewer.

3) A backup device. I go with my watch more places than my phone, it would be nice to have a viewer in that situation. There are also times when the phone dies, where it would be nice to know if someone got home safe, or if the party moved. I don't know if these will be getting their information solely from the phone, but if you can enable an cellular mode, having the watch work independently of the phone would be helpful.

4) NFC could possibly get much more convenient.

5) There are apps that are just a pain to have to unlock your phone, which it would be nice to have an easier way to get to. For me, these include voice-memo/recording, text-to-speech, and song recognition software, etc. As well as some camera instances. Those "in-the-moment" acts that you have a split second to prepare for. --- I might also add those "mark-the-spot" situations, like where you parked your car.

6) Proximity activation - if it doesn't store as much private information, I might actually use the bluetooth more often and store settings; maybe turning on/off my TV/Lights when I'm in a room for 5-10 seconds -- or setting my seat settings in my car. Call it paranoia, but I'm much less likely to leave my Bluetooth always on, on my phone due security concerns, and the fact that phones have more personal/private information most other devices that a person owns (or carries with them).

Non-functional reasons:
1) Aesthetics - some of these watches are actually quite nicely visually designed
2) Pleasure - rooting back to being enthused by gadgets


While smart watches have been around for some time, it's their widespread adoption that may be changing - it's the adoption that is quite new. With it is a whole new world of opportunity and ways you can use your watch to enhance, not replace, certain features that phones currently perform.

The #1 deterrent right now is battery life, which I would like to see be at lease a week (not a few days). Perhaps one day these will be able to be seemingly perpetually powered off the radio waves already in the air (Tesla coils) -- who knows. Perhaps that tech can at least lengthen battery charges.

RE: Zero Interest
By CZroe on 11/19/2013 8:27:54 AM , Rating: 2
I don't want this but I'd love to have another Bluetooth watch to replace my old Sony Ericsson MBW-150. Like that watch, it needs to be a watch first and foremost (face is actually a watch face with analog hands) with only the basic BT functions (AVRCP, CID, vibration on disconnect/range limit).

RE: Zero Interest
By mik123 on 11/19/2013 5:48:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be interested if it could make phone calls, and browse the web.
Of course it would have to look a lot more elegant too.

RE: Zero Interest
By Moishe on 11/21/2013 3:36:57 PM , Rating: 2
The looks of these is kinda awful, but that's where Apple will come in.

I'm not a big Apple fan, but one thing they do over and over is take the old thing build for functionality, and they make it pretty, cool, fashionable and sell it.

These things really need some cool factor.

Article needs editing
By Moishe on 11/21/2013 3:34:51 PM , Rating: 2
Qualcomm is best known for its Snapdragon family of mobile chips, which are a popular third party solution for tablets and smartphones. While Samsung does produce reference platforms for OEMs integrating these chips, it has rarely actually released a device to the consumer market, making Toq a rather interesting oddball product to watch.

Samsung releases consumer products all the time. Qualcomm does not.

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