September 09, 2013Michael Copeland
The biggest buzz coming out of Qualcomm’s 2013 Uplinq Conference in San Diego last week, was the announcement of a smartwatch called Qualcomm® Toq™ (pronounced “talk”).
Speaking at the opening keynote, Chairman and CEO Paul Jacobs, explained, “This smartwatch brings together a bunch of brand new technologies in a totally cool package.”
One of the standout features is its unique Mirasol® display. Unlike typical backlit displays, the Mirasol display is reflective—it harnesses the light around you. That makes Toq the first smartwatch with a color display that can easily be viewed in sunlight. And it’s designed to go for extended periods between charging.
Also billed as the first smartwatch to feature stereo Bluetooth headsets, Toq headsets have no wires connecting the earpieces. You can make phone calls through your smartphone with great audio on both ends of the call, thanks to directional microphones, noise reduction, and echo cancellation.
After the keynote announcement, there were big crowds at the Toq exhibit area, but Kenny Waldron, Director of Product Management at Qualcomm Connected Experiences took time out to give us a guided tour.
The Toq uses Bluetooth to communicate with your smartphone so discovery and connection was easy. Setup was an equally smooth and familiar process.
We had lots of choices for the clock screen, including our favorite, the one shown here. In terms of style, there are two models, a white one with a pillow-textured band, and a black one with a fabric textured band.
There’s no traditional on-off switch, which is kind of cool, and all operations involve either tapping or swiping. The Mirasol display was bright and crisp. When you’re in the dark, there’s a front light that can be toggled on and off by two taps on the top. A single tap on the bottom takes you out of the clock screen and into the application screens.
You can accept or reject your smartphone calls and can easily send preconfigured quick texts in response.
The smartwatch gives you easy access (on your wrist) to text message notifications, recent call history, meeting reminders, and other notifications from your smartphone.
It comes with applets like Comm Hub, calendar, weather, stock, and music, which allows you to control your smartphone songs from your wrist.
It's also one of the first smartwatches to come with no power cord, because both the watch and the headsets charge wirelessly using Qualcomm® WiPower™ LE technology.
The charger doubles as a carrying case for the wireless headsets.
Explaining the reasoning behind the Toq smartwatch, Dr. Jacobs noted, “It’s our way to drive this category forward. We're leveraging Qualcomm's unique mobile leadership, to develop the technologies that will enable our partners to succeed in the wearable space.”
No price has been announced, but this new smartwatch is expected to be available for online ordering later this year.
For more information, watch this Qualcomm Toq video.
UplinqTOQWearables40September 09, 2013Hands On: The Qualcomm Toq SmartwatchHands On: The Qualcomm Toq Smartwatch