November 18, 2013, 12:20 PM — Qualcomm's Toq smartwatch will go on sale for US$349.99 starting Dec. 2, marking the company's first step into the wearable market.
The smartwatch has a color screen and offers "multiple days" of battery life, Qualcomm said. The company has equipped the smartwatch with features such as a low-power screen in an effort to differentiate it from Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which also runs on Android.
Qualcomm did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it would ship worldwide. But the company will also sell a premium version of the watch with a Bluetooth headset, potentially at a higher price.
Qualcomm has said the smartwatch will offer around two days -- or 25 hours -- of battery life. Toq weighs 90 grams, and has a 1.55-inch diagonal color display, which shows images at a resolution of 288 x 192 pixels. The smartwatch will be able to work with a range of Android smartphones to show incoming messages and calls, weather information and also to play music over Bluetooth.
The screen is based on Qualcomm's Mirasol technology, which is considered more power-efficient than the AMOLED screen on Samsung's Gear smartwatch. Mirasol screens have been used in color e-books, and a handful of tablets. Those devices could run for days without recharging the battery.
The Toq will also have wireless charging. Qualcomm is one of the companies leading the development of WiPower, a wireless charging specification that allows for recharging of devices without placing them on charging pads.
Unlike Samsung's Gear, however, the Toq does not have a built-in camera.
Toq was showcased earlier this year as an experimental product, and subsequently the company said it would be sold commercially. The Toq is intended to be a showcase for Qualcomm's hardware and software products as the company looks to push its chips and wireless technologies into wearable devices.
Qualcomm for years has been developing the AllJoyn software interface, designed to help mobile devices interconnect.Qualcomm is also working with other companies to develop WiPower. The Mirasol display technology was earlier considered a failure after it was adopted for just a handful of e-readers and tablets, but Qualcomm believes its low-power features will help it succeed in wearable devices.
The Toq is not Qualcomm's first consumer device to be sold commercially. The Qualcomm-backed company Snaptracs started selling the Tagg pet-tracking hardware in 2011.