While smartwatches still aren't as popular as manufacturers expected, that hasn’t stopped companies from pouring resources into the industry. Qualcomm, whose Snapdragon processors are found in many Android wearables, is one such example, having revealed that it's ready to “double” investment in the market.
Speaking at its annual 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong, Pankaj Kedia, Senior Director of Product Management at Qualcomm, said: "We have seen public announcements from some of our competitors that they are exiting the wearables space; Qualcomm is doubling our investment, because we are winning today and we intend to continue. We're just getting started. Over the next two to three years, you will really see growth around all of this."
One of the biggest issues people have with smartwatches is their poor battery life. It’s a “multi-faceted problem” Qualcomm is tackling in many different ways.
“You want to reduce power consumption,” explained Kedia. “We are doing so at the chip level, at the platform level. So using the chipset to intelligently turn off things you’re not using, right? There’s a lot of action there.”
The company admitted there is no silver bullet for fixing smartwatches’ battery life but it continues to make improvements, which includes its quick-charge and wireless charging efforts.
While Qualcomm didn’t reveal specific details of a new wearables chip, it did confirm that it was working on the next generation of processors for the devices. “The power [consumption] will be lower. The size will be smaller. The sensors will be smarter. Connectivity will be more seamless. More options. And, of course, security that you expect.”
Should Qualcomm live up to its claims, a new type of smarter, smaller wearable that last longer than a day could give the sector the shot in the arm it needs.