Qualcomm Strives to Dominate Smartwear, IoT Industries

It appears like Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) has found out an effective approach to become a leading player in the smartwear industry, similar to how it did in the smartphone segment by positioning itself at the center of the supply chain. As the international smartphone markets undergo a slowdown, while devices such as smartwatches continue to entice consumers, the chipmaker is now launching a new series of Snapdragon Wear processors designed for wearable devices.

Qualcomm announced at the Computex trade show in Taiwan on Monday, that it will be having a new slate of processors, the Snapdragon Wear 1100. This is an expansion of the wearable chips that it announced in the past, which is embedded with different functions and complex usage capabilities. This new line of chipsets will be incorporated in devices  that are targeted at certain consumers, such as smartwatches for children, while smartwear accessories and fitness trackers for the elderly.

The newest Snapdragon Wear 1100 is designed for wearable devices that are created for specific usage, instead of those built for complex usage for working and fitness-centered adults. The Senior Director and Head of Smartwear Business of Qualcomm Pankaj Kedia, this latest offering operates devices in a more specific software environment. Moreover, the user experience will center on the limited uses that the device is designed for.

The Snapdragon Wear 1100 features a Cat 1 modem chip and manages Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and voice-related connectivity. The processor integrates Qualcomm’s iZat location engine to undertake multi-GNSS tasks, runs apps that utilize geo-fencing for secured monitoring, as well as supports cell-ID positioning. In addition, the chipset supports a high security consumer environment with TrustZone, the engine for hardware cryptography, and HW number generator.

The Snapdragon Wear 1100 is available for commercial use and also for shipping orders. Together with the new chipset, the semiconductor giant has also revealed its partnerships with Aricent, Borqs, Infomark, and SurfaceInk to work on the devices and show what can be attained with the 1100 and 2100 chipsets.

These smartwear devices,  which are primarily smartwatches, are targeted at children and the elderly who frequently do not need to do much other than perform some simple tasks. Mr. Kedia confirmed that these products will begin shipping during the latter half of 2016.

The new slate of smartwear processors comes as part of the Qualcomm’s bigger plan to transcend its traditional business of supplying chips for mobile handsets. The semiconductor company is striving for the advancement of smartwear technology,  as it turns its focus on the broader market of processors for the Internet of Things and to make various kinds of devices smarter and more connected.

According to Mr. Kedia, the Internet of Things is an industry with great potential and Qualcomm is enthusiastic in experimenting on this segment. Furthermore, the chip manufacturer is also interested in wearables that are developed for multiple purposes, including smartwatches and smart glasses. About 3 months ago, Qualcomm launched the Snapdragon Wear 2100 line of processors for complex devices.

As of 8:37 AM GMT -4 on May 31, the stock of Qualcomm Inc is changing hands at $55.27.

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