Qualcomm said on Wednesday that it's jumping into the smartwatch bandwagon too with the upcoming launch of the Qualcomm Toq (pronounced "talk") in 4Q 2013. The device has been designed to serve as a second display for a smartphone, sporting the company's Mirasol reflective, low-power display technology for always-on viewing. The wearable tech will also offer wireless charging thanks to Qualcomm WiPower LE technology, and true Bluetooth stereo.
"Toq's always on, always connected, always visible wearable technology gives you a 'Digital 6th Sense,' telling you what you need to know, when you need to know it, with just a glance at your wrist or a whisper in your ear. Toq is a showcase for the benefits of the Mirasol display, WiPower LE and stereo Bluetooth technologies and highlights the experience that the wearable category can provide," said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of Qualcomm.
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Qualcomm said the smartwatch has been in development for over two years, and is the world's first smartwatch with a Mirasol capacitive touchscreen display. The screen isn't backlit, but rather consists of an interferometric modulator display that uses light around it so that users can read the information even at the beach. The screen also provides brilliant colors and a button-less, touch-based experience for managing calls, accessing music, stock prices, the calendar and more.
The company also said the smartwatch provides "days" of battery life before it needs recharging. Even more, the power requirement is so low, the Toq doesn't have an on/off button. Thanks to Qualcomm WiPower LE technology, recharging is "hassle free", as owners can simply place the device on its case for a "drop and go" experience. The optional headphones has the same wireless charging capability.
"Developers also will be able to tap into Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc.'s AllJoyn framework to send program notifications to the smartwatch through the Qualcomm Toq app, which supports the AllJoyn Notification Services Framework," the company said. "Qualcomm will continue adding functionality to Toq through software upgrades, including integration with Qualcomm Life, Inc.'s 2net platform and the recently announced 2net Mobile software. Toq provides participants of the 2net ecosystem the opportunity to deliver new, compelling ways for consumers to manage their health. Qualcomm Life and Qualcomm Innovation Center are subsidiaries of Qualcomm Incorporated."
Qualcomm said this smartwatch will be a limited edition, and will be accompanied by a "Premium Audio Edition" that features "the first truly" wireless stereo headphones. This special pair of Bluetooth headsets – one for each ear – will sit outside the ear canal for all-day wearability, and utilize a dedicated tweeter and subwoofer. Even more, calls can be placed with the connected smartphone using either earpiece. Qualcomm also plans to sell the headphones separately at launch.
"Toq not only represents a long history of technological innovation for Qualcomm, but it also demonstrates our commitment to delivering the breakthrough technologies that redefine the ways we interact with each other and the world around us," Jacobs added.
The Qualcomm Toq will be compatible with Android 4.0.3 when it ships next quarter. The actual specs and pricing was not provided, but additional information can be obtained from the official website here.
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