Qualcomm unveils Toq smartwatch during San Diego conference

Smartwatch to be available at end of month

SAN DIEGO - San Diego-based technology company Qualcomm unveiled its latest innovative endeavor Wednesday known as the "Toq" smartwatch.

Qualcomm CEO Dr. Paul E. Jacobs revealed the Toq during his keynote speech at the Uplinq 2013 wireless ecosystem conference.

"I'm proud to show you for the first time, the Qualcomm Toq!" he announced to a packed room at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel.

The smartwatch will allow consumers to manage smartphone calls, text messages, meeting reminders, music and other notifications from their wrist.

The device also boasts the Mirasol display technology, which is "a revolutionary reflective, low-power display that enables an always on viewing experience," according to a press release.

"The watch itself just displays so well out in the bright sunlight," said Rob Chandhok, president of Qualcomm Interactive Platforms.

Chandhok also said the smartwatch uses technology to improve a user's health.

"There's also an accelerometer in the watch so you can actually have a pedometer or something built into that," Chandhok said. "You'll probably see that coming from us in the software update."

The smartwatch battery life lasts days, said Jacobs.

Rumors of the Qualcomm smartwatch have been swirling for weeks when Jacobs was seen wearing one during an interview last month.

On Wednesday, in Berlin, Samsung also unveiled a digital wristwatch at least weeks ahead of a similar product expected from rival Apple.

Samsung says the Galaxy Gear can act as an extension to a smartphone by discreetly alerting users to incoming messages and calls on its display screen. The Gear also has a basic camera and works with popular social media and fitness apps.

When asked about the other smartwatches recently unveiled, Chandhok said he doesn't see it that way.

"Samsung is a strong customer of ours and a partner, so we don't see this as competition," Chandhok said. "Success for us is actually our partners taking the design and turning it into their own."

The price hasn't been finalized, but a Qualcomm spokesperson said the Toq will range between $300 to $350.

"[It] looks amazing, it really does," said Encinitas business owner David Hall. "They way that they've paired that with their headphones, single headphone Bluetooth in each ear, looks really nice."

The Toq will be available by the end of the month. Convention goers who attended Wednesday morning received a voucher for a free Toq smartwatch.

Uplinq is a conference that provides a cross-platform view to developers and key value chain players, offering a glimpse into what's next in mobile technology, according to a Qualcomm spokesperson.

About 2,200 attendees from more than 40 countries were expected in the three-day event.

The conference ends Thursday.


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