OnQ Blog

Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform helps to redefine the smartwatch experience [video]

Sep 10, 2018

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Thanks to significant innovation and investment in the ecosystem, wearables are gaining in popularity amongst consumers, and smartwatches are rapidly becoming the fastest growing and largest segment in the space. Qualcomm Technologies has been an industry leader in the wearables category since our technology was first implemented into smartwatches by LG and Samsung in 2014. Now, over 200 products are shipping using our platform, including 100 Wear OS by Google smartwatches from 25 who’s who brands. Our Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear platform is powering over 80 percent of Wear OS smartwatches in the industry.

Today, at a launch event held in San Francisco, Qualcomm Technologies announced our next-generation smartwatch platform, Snapdragon Wear 3100 (SDW3100), which is targeting the breadth of phone, sports, fashion, and luxury brands.

The Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform features an innovative, ultra-low power system architecture that helps to make smartwatches more useful in interactive and ambient modes while also supporting extended battery life. This new system architecture is designed to combine the beauty of a fashion watch with the power of a smartwatch, the battery life of a sports watch with the richness of a smartwatch, and the utility of an analog watch with the flexibility of a smartwatch — so consumers enjoy the best of all worlds.

We went back to the drawing board on this one. Read on to learn more about Snapdragon Wear 3100.

SDW3100: Designed for Smartwatches

Current smartwatch platforms are based on smartphone architectures optimized to meet the power, performance, connectivity, and size requirements of a smartwatch. Using a smartwatch, however, is fundamentally different from using a smartphone. According to our customers, smartwatch users actively interact with their smartwatch only 5 to 10 percent of the day. The other 90 to 95 percent of time, users simply expect the smartwatch to be always on and always sensing.

The Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform is designed to mirror this use pattern — the high-performance applications processor aims to deliver a highly responsive, fluid user experience during the interactive mode while a new, ground-up co-processor helps to enhance the ambient mode and bring in new experiences to the smartwatch consumer. By using a hierarchical approach with the high performance A7 processors, the highly efficient integrated DSP, and the new ultra-low power co-processor, we look to fundamentally look to re-imagine the smartwatch experience while supporting extended battery life.

Helping to Make the Smartwatch More Useful

The high performing, highly capable apps processor with our fifth-generation 4G LTE modem serves as the foundation for the rich interactive experience. As the Wear OS by Google experience continues to improve with the new UI framework and new Google Fit experiences announced by Google, the Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform supports an ever-richer, ever-engaging experience.

Snapdragon Wear 3100 helps to bring new personalized experiences to next-generation Wear OS by Google smartwatches. At this time, we are announcing three such experiences and plan to deploy additional ones over time given the extensible nature of the platform (subject to change without notice).

  • Enhanced Ambient Mode combines the beauty of a Fashion Watch with the power of a Smartwatch: Snapdragon Wear 3100-based smartwatches are designed to feature an enhanced ambient mode with a smooth second hand, live complications, up to 16 colors, and adaptive brightness. With such a fashion-forward look now made possible, fashion and luxury brands are excited to pursue next-generation wearables where the smartwatch actually looks like a watch 24x7.
  • Dedicated Sports Experiences combine the battery life of a Sports watch with the richness of a Smartwatch: Snapdragon Wear 3100-based smartwatches are designed to support a series of dedicated sports experiences with extended battery life (available via a future software update. Go for an ultra-marathon, swim long distances, bike for miles and miles, play multiple rounds of golf, or hike the mountains with GPS and active heart rate monitoring without worrying about running down your battery. We are seeing growing interest from the traditional sports companies to move to the smartwatch segment given the above capabilities.
  • Traditional Watch Mode combines the utility of an Analog Watch with the flexibility of a Smartwatch: Snapdragon Wear 3100-based smartwatches feature a new Traditional Watch Mode, which operates on the new ultra-low power co-processor and is designed to allow you to continue enjoying your beautiful watch with a customized watch face for extended periods of time.

Support for Extended Battery Life

We adopted a number of low-power techniques to support extended battery life in areas such as GPS, clock updates, sensors processing, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth voice queries, MP3 playback, and more.  The result is battery life improvements ranging from 4 to 12 hours (compared to the previous SDW2100 platform generation), depending on display type, battery capacity, and device configurations. If you’re into sports, you can go for a run or engage in other sporting activities with a watch designed to go for up to 15 hours (calculated based on typical 450mAh sports watch battery, with GPS and heart rate on). If you’re the one who forgets your charger every once in a while, you can adopt the Traditional Watch Mode which is designed to allow you to continue to use your beautiful watch for up to a week

Thanks to the reimagined architecture, the Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform helps to bridge the gap between fashion, sports, analog, and smartwatches. With its ultra-low power hierarchical approach, the platform supports new user experiences and longer-lasting battery life to help keep you productive, healthy, and fashionable for longer than ever before (compared to previous generation platforms) on a single charge.

Also announced today are our first Snapdragon Wear 3100 customers: Fossil Group, Louis Vuitton, and Montblanc. We expect that they will begin rolling out in Q4 of 2018.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

The OnQ Team