San Diego-based Qualcomm Technologies continues to ramp up its investment in the rapidly growing ‘wearables’ industry sector.
This month, the company unveiled a new suite of Snapdragon chips that deliver extended battery life, premium user experiences and sleek, innovative designs to a host of new wearable products ranging from smartwatches to clothing and medical devices.
“The wearables industry continues to grow and present opportunities across multiple segments at an unprecedented pace,” said Pankaj Kedia, senior director, product marketing, and global head of Smart Wearables, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
In tandem with Qualcomm’s announcement, Chinese consumer electronic companies Oppo and Mobvoi unveiled the first smartwatches based on Qualcomm’s new platforms.
Qualcomm says its new “ultra-low power” platform is based on 4nm (nanometer) process technology, according to a July 19 press note from the company.
Enhancements to wearable hybrid Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 and Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 platform architecture offer “50% lower power, 2X higher performance, 2X richer features – and 30% smaller size” compared to the previous generation of chips, Qualcomm said.
$115 Billion Industry
Evolving from early products like smartwatches and fitness trackers, today’s wearable technology – or “wearables” – is a burgeoning category of electronic devices that can be worn as accessories, embedded in clothing, implanted in a user’s body and even tattooed onto skin.
The wearables technology market was valued at more than $115 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $380 billion by 2028.
“The new wearable platforms – Snapdragon W5+ and Snapdragon W5 – represent our most advanced leap yet,” Kedia said. “Purpose-built for next generation wearables, these platforms address the most pressing consumer needs by delivering ultra-low power, breakthrough performance and highly integrated packaging.”
Google, a wearable industry leader, hailed Qualcomm’s latest breakthrough in chip architecture.
“Google and Qualcomm Technologies have a longstanding history of helping our partners deliver great user experiences. We applaud the technological breakthroughs that Qualcomm Technologies is bringing to the wearables industry with the launch of its Snapdragon W5+ platform,” said Bjorn Kilburn, GM and Senior Director of Wear OS at Google.
“With the Snapdragon W5+ platform, we’re excited for what’s possible in bringing new levels of performance, capability and battery life to Wear OS smartwatches,” Kilburn added.
“We are thrilled to be working with a range of customers and partners, thus expanding our thriving wearable ecosystem, and are delighted to announce 25 designs in the pipeline across segments based on the new platforms,” Kedia said. “We have collaborated extensively with our first customers, Oppo and Mobvoi, over the last year and look forward to seeing their products.”
“The announcement of the latest Snapdragon W5 wearable platform will bring smart wearable technology to a new level,” said Franco Li, associate VP and president of IoT Business at Oppo.
“Oppo and Qualcomm Technologies have closely collaborated for a long time, creating new possibilities of product innovation together,” Li added. “The Oppo Watch 3 series will be launched on August. As the first smartwatch powered by Snapdragon W5 wearable platform, it will delight our users with better performance.”
“Mobvoi has collaborated with Qualcomm Technologies over the last few years to launch a series of TicWatch smartwatches based on the Snapdragon Wear platforms,” said Zhifei Li, CEO, Mobvoi.
“Our team is excited about the differentiated features in the new Snapdragon W5+ Wearable Platform and has been working closely with the Qualcomm Technologies’ team to bring these innovations to life in our next gen TicWatch flagship smartwatch,” he added. “We are eager to launch our latest offering this Fall and are thrilled to be the first smartwatches based on the Snapdragon W5+ Gen1 Wearable Platform.”
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