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  (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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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

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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.


"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov














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