The wearables market might not be exactly booming right now, but regardless growth is expected in the segment. Apple is currently leading with its Apple Watch. However, Google is aiming to take the wearables fight directly to Apple, and hinted back in May that it could be rolling out a Pixel Wearable running its Android Wear OS to directly combat Apple. We have some detail on what to expect from Google for its forthcoming wearable and at the heart of the smartwatches will be a Qualcomm chip.
Qualcomm chips haven’t exactly been confirmed, but there were strong hints from Qualcomm’s Pankaj Kedia, senior director and business lead for Smart Wearables, that they are coming. CNET reports that it interviewed Kedia and Dennis Troper, product director at Google for Wear OS. The new wearables will be faster and one of the major focuses will be getting Google Assistant onto wrists.
One of the challenges, according to Qualcomm, was that its previous Snapdragon 2100 chips found in the current generation of Android Wear watches weren’t suited for the direction Wear OS is headed towards. That meant that the chips in Wear OS devices stayed rather stagnant as Apple improved its hardware inside the Apple Watch. Kedia says that Qualcomm was focused on enhancing user experiences and how Google Assistant works, while using less power with the new chips expected for the next gen of Wear OS devices. Rumors suggest the chip could be called Snapdragon Wear 3100.
Wear OS is expected in these new devices to have a significant update to Assistant functions with the ability to provide contextual replies and app-like actions. Troper notes that the next gen of Wear OS watches will be a lot more active at being an on-wrist assistant. The watches promise to be more proactive about the sort of details users want to see. The watches may be able to learn and remember a user’s daily habits and provide a more intimate relationship and more personalization.
Fitness functions will be improved with a renewed focus on sensors for fitness activities expected. However, Qualcomm didn’t elaborate on fitness functions. Fitness coaching from the new devices could go as far as suggesting exercises or types of exercises that the user might want to try. Better power management will be a big deal with these watches as well, bringing improved low-power performance. Kedia says that the new watches will have enhancements to existing interactive, ambient, and low battery modes but declined to elaborate further.
These new watches are expected this fall and rumors point to a Pixel-branded smartwatch from Google. Rumors maintain there could be three models with speculation suggesting perhaps GPS, LTE, and VoLTE versions along with heart rate sensing as a possibility. Rumors also suggest the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, and a second-generation of the cool Pixel Buds will also launch this fall.