Qualcomm is coming out with its first new chipset for kids watches in two years. The news was revealed at the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai earlier this week.
Essential reading: The best smartwatches for kids
We are not exactly spoiled for choice when it comes to smartwatches for kids. The likes of Garmin and Fitbit have come out with fitness trackers for little ones, but they’ve opted to stay out of the kids smartwatch game for now. This is a quickly growing market segment, particularly in Asia, so we are sure its only a matter of time before we see some big names in this space.
Smartwatches for kids are multi-functional devices. Some parents want to encourage their child to be more active so opt for a device that tracks fitness. Others want to know their children are safe, so opt for a wearable that allows them to stay in touch and tracks their kids GPS location in real-time.
Qualcomm’s new chip, the Snapdragon Wear 2500, is targeted for 4G connected kids watches. Specifically, devices designed for 4 to 10 year-olds.
“We see this as one of the high-growth categories,” Anthony Murray, senior vice president and general manager for Qualcomm’s voice, music and wearables business.
“We can see interest proliferating around the world.”
According to the press release, the chip is based on the fifth generation LTE multi-mode modem, it supports up to a 5-megapixel camera, location tracking, voice assistants and more. A key focus is power. The chip is said to extend battery life by about 14% compared to previous generations.
Interestingly, the Snapdragon Wear 2500 does not support Android Wear. Instead, the platform comes with an version of Android for kid watches that requires just 512MB of storage. Based on Android Oreo, it doesn’t support notifications or an app store. Instead, the operating system comes pre-loaded with a series of apps and games that are age approved.
The San Diego chipmaker has already started production. Huawei, the biggest customer for the Snapdragon Wear platform, is expected to come out with a device that uses the new chip later this year. It should quickly be followed by others.
“At Huawei, we are proud to be the first company expected to commercialize a 4G Kids watch based on the new Snapdragon Wear 2500 platform,” said Rico Zhang, Smart Wearable and Health Product Line President.
“Built on the outstanding power-efficiency, 4G connectivity, smart sensing, and location capabilities that the new platform is designed to deliver, we are pleased to extend our long-time collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. in the wearables segment and bring our next generation kid watches to the industry.”
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