The wearable technology trend continues to grow and Qualcomm is getting directly into the game by launching a brand new set of Snapdragon Wear chips aimed specifcally at wearable devices.
On Tuesday, the company made an announcement at Taiwan’s Computex Trade Show, revealing the new Snapdragon Wear 1100 chips. Of course, these will expand upon the company’s existing chips which have already been announced; all dedicating to various functions to diversify the company’s offerings. These new chips, for example, have been designed exclusively for kids’ watches and for the elderly; for smart headsets and fitness trackers, of course, and for other wearable accessories.
“Snapdragon Wear 1100 is targeting purpose-built wearables, or those that are designed only around a few usage cases,” explains Pankaj Kedia, who is the senior director and business lead of smart wearables at Qualcomm. “These kinds of products do two to five things really well. They run a more targeted software environment, like Linux. The whole user experience is much more targeted around these use cases. They still require low power, high integration, small size, and a good connected experience.”
Indeed this new chip model is part of the San Diego, CA-based chip maker’s initiative to broaden its products and expand beyond just pure mobile chips. Qualcomm, then, is now focusing on the larger chip market for the growing Internet of Things trend. Kedia explains that this includes “smart bodies, smart homes, and smart cities.”
Basically, then, the Snapdragon Wear 1100 has been designed to optimize power, speed, sensors, location, and overall connectivity.
Kedia goes on to say, “IoT is a large space for us. When we think of smart bodies, wearables is part of that space. There’s a lot of excitement in this part of the industry.”
In addition, Patrick Moorhead—an analyst for Moor Insights & Strategy—attests, “We’re finally starting to see the technology available to make wearables a mainstream play. Many consumers are looking to detach the smartphone from the wearable and have an autonomous solution with wireless capability. I believe the most successful implementations of the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wer 1100 we will see are kid trackers, elderly assist devices and exercise watches.”
This is an important move for Qualcomm as the company has recently suffered from the slowing mobile phone market around the world, and from Chinese regulators putting pressure on licensing. Thus, this move could help to restore some of the 33 percent loss in value over the last year.