Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 could power future smartglasses

New platform can handle text processing and translation
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The Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 platform could power more than just smartwatches, according to the company.

The company announced its new wearable technology platform earlier this week, which replaces the Snapdragon Wear processor series.

The company announced its new Snapdragon W5 and W5+ processor, which is designed for a wider range of smartwatches, including kids watches and enterprise, as well as the next generation of Wear OS 3.0 devices.

But Pankaj Kedia, Senior Director & Global Head for the Qualcomm Smart Wearables told Wareable that the platform may extend beyond wrist wearables.

“So yes, this platform is designed for wearables. Not necessarily smartwatches. When I say wearable the form factor varies.”

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Snapdragon XR1 reference design

During the launch of the W5 the company teased that it had 25 devices in the pipeline to run on its new wearables platform, including new Oppo and Mobvoi TicWatch devices. But Kedia confirmed that while all of these are wrist-based devices, that doesn’t have to be the case.

“It doesn't have to be just a smartwatch. The 25 designs in the pipeline they are smartwatches but other shapes and sizes.”

Qualcomm has already developed a smartglasses reference design, which comes using the company’s XR1 platform.

But Pankaj Kedia said that the two platforms have shared a lot of learnings, and the new Snapdragon W5 borrows a lot of learnings from the XR1.

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“At Qualcomm we run the Snapdragon XR business separate from the wearable business. But we are about choice. If a customer wants to use this wearable platform to do a glass product we encourage it, we support it. It helps them differentiate.”

“I'll give you an example Ray Ban Stories, the Meta product, is actually based on the Snapdragon 4100 wearable platform,” he continued.

“We worked very closely with the XR Team. We helped them support it. We help them differentiate it. The learnings we got on power and performance, we incorporated them.”

In the deep dive of the new W5, the platform has the capability to hand off camera, visual processing and even tasks such as text translation to the 4nm SoC – which would have obvious applications for smartglasses.

We’ll be watching Qualcomm’s next launches with great interest.


TAGGED Wearables

James Stables

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James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.


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