Why Qualcomm’s Paul Jacobs Will Stifle the Smartwatch He Created

9/5/13Follow @bvbigelow

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produce only tens of thousands of units, with Toq sales beginning sometime before Christmas, at a price between $300 and $350 apiece. When asked who is manufacturing the devices, Rob Chandhok, president of Qualcomm’s interactive platform business, answered, “They are being made where you think things are being made.”

The Toq smartwatch is not intended to take the place of a smartphone. In fact, Jacobs described how future mobile customers could use a multitude of wireless sensors and devices to collect data and interact with the physical world, ultimately turning the smartphone into more of a wireless server that would enable users to store relevant mobile data in their own “personal cloud.”

Qualcomm designed the Toq to sync with users’ smartphones, with an always-on display screen that would immediately show text messages, calendar appointments, phone calls, and other notifications sent to the user’s smartphone—sparing users the bother of pulling it out and unlocking it. In other words, people will be compulsively scrolling their smartwatches instead of their smartphones. The Toq is based on Qualcomm’s operating system, and initially will only work with Android-based smartphones, although the company might extend the Toq to connect with iOS-based systems as well.

Toq demo at Uplinq

Toq demo at Uplinq

“Qualcomm Toq is a great example of the convergence of connectivity, context, and control technologies, that all come together to provide us with a digital sixth sense,” Jacobs said during his keynote presentation. “Qualcomm Toq is key to that vision. And of course, we’re only at the beginning of what’s possible.”

So how did this idea for a Qualcomm smartwatch get started?

The Toq was Jacobs’ idea, Chandhok said. “Paul wanted to have something on his wrist that helped him remember things,” he told reporters.

Jacobs later added … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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  • VladymirRogov

    “We’re trying to make it less about us, and more about what’s feasible”. Great American thinking… Cheers!