Qualcomm’s newest smartwatch chips are made just for kids

Karlis Dambrans/Flickr

Android-based smartwatches may not be the fastest growing industry in the world, but Qualcomm reckons there’s still legs on that crowd. That’s why Qualcomm’s first new smartwatch chip in two years is geared toward a very specific market: Smartwatches for children, which run a custom Android interface.

The new chip, the Snapdragon Wear 2500, promises to be more battery efficient than previous chips, supports LTE, location tracking, and cameras up to 5-megapixels, as well as a bunch of other sensors. According to an interview, the Wear 2500 will also be about a third smaller than previous chips too — size being exceptionally important in a child’s watch.

qualcomm snapdragon wear 2500 announced 2100 0
The Verge

Interestingly, the chips are not made to work with Google’s Wear OS — instead, they’ll be running a customized Android interface called Android for Kids that probably won’t have access to the usual array of Android apps. Instead, Qualcomm will preload the watches with all the apps that they expect will be needed by kids (and the adults who supervise them). There’s an emphasis on learning too, and Pankaj Kedia, leader of Qualcomm’s wearable department, intends these watches to complement the more connected lives that children lead today.

“It’s like you grew up on Alexa and you want to take Alexa with you,” Kedia said to The Verge. “You want to ask Alexa ‘what’s the capital of the U.S.’ or ‘who is the 35th president of the U.S.?’ or learn a different language, and voice assistants are making it easy for you to do that. Literally, kids in that bracket are using kid watches to learn.” These watches will presumably facilitate that need, and help parents to keep an eye on their kids at the same time.

The smartwatch market is still a fairly volatile place, and while Apple reigns supreme at the top of the charts with the Apple Watch Series 3, 2017 saw a lot of well-established names drop out of the race in favor of new kids on the block. So while the overall market for wearables continues to grow, it’s new directions and manufacturers that are being rewarded for their hard work. With this in mind, it’s not hard to see why Qualcomm chose to go this way.

Interested this new breed of smartwatch? Qualcomm is already sending the chips out to manufacturers, and expect to see watches with it come out later this year, with Huawei being named as one of the companies involved.

Smart Home

Amazon creates a bigger toy box with its new Alexa Gadgets Toolkit

Amazon is giving manufacturers of interactive devices and smart home enthusiasts a new toy with a new Alexa Gadgets Toolkit that enables the construction of accessories that pair to Echo devices.

Fitbit Versa vs. Apple Watch Series 4: Which wearable is the best?

Smartwatches are the health-conscious wearables that everyone wants. We wanted to see how the brand-new Apple Watch Series 4 matches up with the beloved Fitbit Versa, so we compared them in various categories to help you choose.

Skagen’s new Falster 2 smartwatch is now available for purchase

In August, Skagen announced the launch of its new smartwatch to add to its lineup, and it's called the Falster 2. The device features a heart-rate sensor, built-in GPS, and more. It's also now available for purchase.

The Apple Watch Series 4 is officially available for pre-order

The new Apple Watch Series 4 is here. Besides the Apple store, the company's next-generation smartwatch is be available for purchase through all four major carriers. Here's where you can get yours.

Fitbit’s new health care platform sets out to improve wellness in the workplace

Fitbit's new platform, Fitbit Care, aims to help improve wellness in the workplace. Using wearables, digital health coaching, and a more personalized health care experience, employees can have an easier time staying on top of their health.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.

Samsung looks to Huawei for inspiration, and the new Galaxy A7 is born

Samsung has launched the Galaxy A7 smartphone, its first with a triple-lens rear camera, which, although sounds similar to the one fitted to the Huawei P20 Pro, works in a different way.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro's body may wirelessly charge new Bluetooth headphones

Huawei is no stranger when it comes to big phones. And this year it plans to go even bigger with the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro. Here's what we think we know about the new range.
Smart Home

Voice technology is useful, in demand, and not moving fast enough

A new survey commissioned by IT analytics firm AppDynamics indicates that enterprise companies aren't adopting advances in voice technology fast enough to keep up with demand, especially from millennials.

88 percent of the $800-plus smartphones sold last quarter were iPhones

Apple may not sell as many smartphones as Samsung overall, but according to a new report that varies depending on price. The company sold 43 percent of all smartphones over $400, and 88 percent of those over $800 last quarter.

How to clean your iPhone’s charging port

What happens when your iPhone charger doesn't work? It's time to look at the charging port. Here's how to clean your iPhone's charging port: We'll go over the most successful methods and the safety tips you need to know.

Which new iPhone is the best? iPhone XS vs. iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone XR

Apple has three new iPhone models to choose from this year, making the choice a little harder than usual. What's the difference between the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR, and which is best?

Here's the Samsung Galaxy S9's new Android 9.0 Pie interface

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are here. The flagship devices boast some awesome new features and a powerful new processor. Here's everything you need to know about these Samsung phones.

Joby’s tiny tripods double as selfie sticks and hide four different modes

The Joby TelePod models are more than just compact tripods -- they also double as hand grips, selfie sticks, and tabletop tripods. Designed to accommodate smaller gear like smartphones and lightweight mirrorless, the tripods use a unique…