At Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, Qualcomm has finally unveiled a new Snapdragon Wear platform for smartwatches, but it’s not aimed at higher end Wear OS devices, instead it’s intended to help power the burgeoning kids smartwatch market.

The new Snapdragon 2500 processor incorporates a quad-core A7 processor setup but improves on battery life, and incorporates Qualcomm’s fifth generation 4G LTE modem, and a new sensor hub that will include ‘pre-optimized algorithms and low power location tracking’.

The location tracking is important in the kids smartwatch market with many parents using them to track the whereabouts (wearabouts? hah) of their child. Qualcomm says the new Snapdragon Wear 2500 will support ‘more accurate location tracking and is designed to implement reliable geofencing use cases’ allowing you to set places such as your kids school, home, day care etc. as locations to be notified when they leave.

Instead of calling out Wear OS as the intended driver for the platform, Qualcomm has said that the Snapdragon Wear 2500 will be run by an ‘optimized version of Android for kids’ based on Android Oreo.

The Snapdragon Wear 2500 platform is designed with messaging in mind, and it appears that Qualcomm has video messaging in mind with the chipset able to support five mega-pixel cameras.

The watches will also support voice assistants with support for Qualcomm’s Voice Activation, and an NFC chip will also be included to enable mobile payments.

Huawei, who already offer a line of Kids Smartwatches in China, will be the first to build a smartwatch based on the Snapdragon Wear 2500 platform, with Rico Zhang, Smart Wearable and Health Product Line President, Huawei saying

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. Built on the outstanding power-efficiency, 4G connectivity, smart sensing, and location capabilities that the new platform is designed to deliver, 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.

There will be more partners jumping on the Snapdragon Wear bandwagon though, with Qualcomm advising they are shipping samples now.

Source: Qualcomm.
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    Philip Clark

    Sigh… Wear really is the Chrysler of operating systems. Keep waiting for some light at the end of the tunnel to replace my burn-in plagued Huawei Watch, but instead we get this.