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Qualcomm launches Snapdragon Wear 2500, its first smartwatch chip in two years aimed at watches for kids

Snapdragon Wear 2500 will not support WearOS and instead, Qualcomm launched an “optimized version of Android for kids.”

  • Updated: June 27, 2018 9:55 AM IST
qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2500 platform 805px

Semiconductor giant Qualcomm has announced its first smartwatch SoC in two years, the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2500. However, the SoC isn’t meant for regular smartwatches. Instead, the Snapdragon Wear 2500 is meant for watches that are designed for kids. This is the first SoC that the company has announced after the launch of Snapdragon Wear 2100 back in February 2016. According to the post on official Qualcomm website, Wear 2500 is meant to provide extended battery life along with an integrated sensor hub with “pre-optimized algorithms, low power location tracking” and fifth generation 4G LTE mode.

The interesting thing to note here is that Wear 2500 will not support WearOS, the operating system by Google that is meant to work on smartwatches and wearable devices. Instead, Qualcomm also launched an “optimized version of Android for kids” which will be based on Android Oreo which is meant to be under 512MB in size. This new chip is 38 percent smaller than the previous Wear SoCs while using less power to operate and providing 14 percent longer battery life.

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The device supports a five-megapixel camera for video calling along for video-based educational content along with next-generation NFC “for everyday purchases at school” if kids left their wallet. The integrated sensor hub will also allow parents to monitor the health of their kids. Wear 2500 has also added support for “gesture-based gaming” and other entertainment apps.

The SoC has also added support for Qualcomm Voice Activation along with support for “popular AI-based voice assistants” so that kids can use Alexa, Cortana or Google Assistant to aid them in learning. The primary reason for the company to create a separate SoC aimed at kids is to create a platform that focuses on “rich messaging and integrated learning experiences”. The company has teamed up with Huawei “As the lead customer” of the SoC and it is working closely with InvenSense.Inc to increase the sensor algorithms.

According to a report by The Verge, it is likely that Android for Kids will not support an app store or notifications. Instead, it is likely that the manufacturers will preload apps and games on the smartwatches that they think the kids and their parents would require. The company will launch the development kit for the platform in the third quarter of this year for developers to create new apps and experiences based on Wear 2500.

Rico Zhang, Smart Wearable and Health Product Line President at Huawei added, “At Huawei, we are proud to be the first company expected to commercialize a 4G Kids watch based on the new Snapdragon Wear 2500 platform.” He went on to state, “We are pleased to extend our long-time collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. in the wearables segment and bring our next generation kid watches to the industry.”

The company is teaming with “more than 10 OEMs across more than 10 operators in more than 10 countries” for new Wear 2500-based smartwatches. For everyone who was looking for something more, Qualcomm has not announced any details about the true successor for the Wear 2100 including the name or when it will be available.

  • Published Date: June 27, 2018 9:30 AM IST
  • Updated Date: June 27, 2018 9:55 AM IST