Qualcomm to ship Toq smartwatch with Mirasol display in Q4

Qualcomm did not provide price, but said Toq's battery will last for 'days'

Qualcomm on Wednesday announced its own smartwatch that will have a low-power Mirasol display and be compatible with Android mobile devices.

The smartwatch, called Toq (pronounced "talk"), will ship in the fourth quarter this year. Qualcomm's announcement comes on the same day Samsung announced its Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which has a 1.6-inch screen and offers 25 hours of battery life.

Toq will have a color capacitive touchscreen display, and offer "days" of battery life, Qualcomm said. The smartwatch will be able to work with a smartphone to show incoming messages and calls, play back music and show weather information.

The smartwatch emerged earlier this year as a prototype to display the capabilities of Mirasol, which has been used in color e-readers. Now Qualcomm has decided to commercialize Toq as a showcase of its latest technologies.

Qualcomm did not immediately provide the screen size or price. Mirasol, which started reaching e-readers in 2011, is considered more power-efficient than the LCD technology used in Samsung's Galaxy Gear.

The Toq will have wireless charging and will work with smartphones to wirelessly play back music over Bluetooth. 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.

The "Premium Audio Edition" of the smartwatch will come with a headset through which users can also place phone calls on a smartphone. A Toq app will allow program notifications to be sent from the smartphone to the smartwatch. Toq will be compatible with smartphones running Android 4.0.3 and above.

Toq's always on and always connected, and tells users what they need to know "with just a glance at your wrist or a whisper in your ear," said Paul Jacobs, Qualcomm CEO, in a statement.

The Toq will be continually upgraded through software. Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips are used in many smartphones and tablets, and developers already write specific applications geared toward those chips.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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