Interest in wearables has been waning lately, but hopefully, that’s about to change with the introduction of Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Wear 4100 platforms designed for next-generation connected wearables.
The new Snapdragon Wear 4100 platforms greatly improves upon available technology and add new hardware and features to cater to the next generation of wearables. The Snapdragon Wear 4100+ platform is based on the company’s ultra-low-power hybrid architecture and has a super-fast System-on-Chip (SoC), a smarter Always On co-processor, and a number of improvements that enable richer and more enhanced experiences for different wearable experiences such as ambient, sports, interactive, and watch modes.
According to Pankaj Kedia, Senior Director and Business Lead of Smart Wearables at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., the new Snapdragon Wear 4100+ boasts of four key aspects: super-fast performance, a super-fast modem, a smart always-on processor, and low power with extended battery life. The new architecture has been engineered to “deliver significant improvements in performance, connectivity, smartness, and power” compared to the company’s previous platforms.
When it comes to performance, the Snapdragon Wear 4100+ has an SoC that’s compromised of a quad-core A53 processor and Qualcomm Adreno 504 graphics processor. Memory has also been doubled and can now support up to 16-megapixel cameras. The overall performance of the 4100+ is 85% percent faster compared to the previous 3100 platform which is, undoubtedly, a big leap. These internal upgrades also result in wearables with faster app launches, a smoother and more responsive UI, and a richer photo and video experience.
The new modem on the 4100+ is not only faster and more optimized but also consumes less power. This means that phone functionality such as calls or text messaging will take less toll on the battery. With the smarter Always-On co-processor, next-generation wearables fitted with the 4100+ will experience richer offloaded experiences. Memory and performance have been optimized to deliver up to 64K colors. Additionally, the processor extends offload experiences to include continuous heart rate and sleep monitoring, faster tilt-to-wake, step counting, alarms, timers, and haptics.
Qualcomm’s new platform will also be able to deliver longer battery life because of its low power consumption. Utilizing 12nm low power process technology and a bunch of other optimizations, power consumption has been reduced by more than 25%.
With all these improvements, what Qualcomm aims to bring with their new Snapdragon Wear 4100 platforms are richer, enhanced experiences in all types of wearables. For those who are more inclined to sports, next-generation wearables will be able to enjoy the 4100 platform’s improved GPS, off-line maps, and heart rate monitoring without having to worry about the device’s battery draining too fast.
And lastly, Qualcomm also takes into consideration the traditional watch mode and improves upon it by utilizing the co-processor in an RTOS environment. This brings about a more capable experience in features such as time and date, steps, heart rate, alarms, reminders, battery indicator, and more.
At this time, Qualcomm already has partner companies who are in the process of creating the first wearable to utilize the new 4100 platforms. Xiaotiancai, a company specializing in watches for kids, will be introducing its 2020 flagship phone in the middle of July and will be the first in the industry to house the new Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform.
Tic Watch creators, Mobvoi, has also partnered up with Qualcomm to present a new line of smartwatch powered by the new platform. Combined with the company’s own technologies, Mobvoi aims to deliver new devices that not only have better battery life but are capable of more complex AI computations.
The Snapdragon Wear 4100 platforms support both the Android Open Source platform and the Wear OS by Google OS platform and are available starting today. This may mean that consumers might soon be seeing next-generation wearables before the year ends.