The Qualcomm smartwatch by the name "Toq" has appeared ready for pre-order this week, showing just a few months after its initial reveal this September. This watch works with a Qualcomm Mirasol display and works with several Qualcomm bits and pieces inside, the entire package acting as something of a full demonstration of the powers of Qualcomm in the flesh - or the metal, plastic, and glass, as it were.
We've been covering the NSA and other spy agencies pretty faithfully here at SlashGear, and while all that cloak-and-dagger, hack-and-spy, Big-Brother-Is-Watching-You drama can be provocative, that's not why we cover it. We cover it because it affects the tech industry and, by extension, the gadgets we obsess over. The reverberations of mass data surveillance by governments do eventually make their way down to consumer tech. Today we're seeing one way spying has chilled the industry that underpins our toys. Take the recent decline in US tech sales in China and yesterday's statements by executives from Qualcomm and Cisco, for example.
Having pushed the Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor earlier this year and seeing applied to a relatively large cross-section of top-tier smartphones and tablets alike, Qualcomm has brought on the next step in the Snapdragon 805 here at the tail end of 2013. This processor will work in machines inside 2014 and will bring on - first and foremost - support for Ultra HD video playback. What's especially interesting about this ability is the fact that while some mobile smart devices have already been able to record Ultra HD starting at 4K, they've not been able to play it back - Qualcomm makes it so here with the 805.
Qualcomm has been showing off its own smartwatch for a while now. The smartwatch is called the Toq and we spent hands on time with it in September. The watch was previously tipped to launch on October 10, but that didn't happen. Qualcomm has come back and announced a new launch date for the device.
This week the folks at Motorola have pushed the first cross-carrier availability of the customization-included Moto X, and following up rather quick they'll push a machine called Moto G. UPDATE: Moto G launched - this battle is now updated with 100% accurate and official specifications! This slightly smaller device will be the "budget-friendly" Motorola device expected to have been launched when the Moto X was first teased, and here just before Motorola makes it all official themselves, we've got a bit of a comparison chart to make the differences between these devices clear.
Qualcomm is powering many smartphones these days, one of which includes the recently released Nexus 5. In that case we are looking at a 2.26GHz Snapdragon 800, however there are many others such as the HTC One, which sports a Snapdragon 600. While we mention that quite a few devices are running on Qualcomm power these days, that just speaks to their Q4 2013 earnings report, which in this case is showing a revenue of $6.48 billion.
Qualcomm's outspoken Chief Marketing Officer Anand "Things That Are Dumb" Chandrasekher has been demoted, in a way, after stating that Apple's 64-bit system-on-a-chip, the A7, is a "gimmick." He wasn't fired, just reassigned, but he is no longer listed as being on the leadership team on the Qualcomm website, and the company has publicly censured Chandrasekher. The reasons for Chandrasekher's criticism and for Qualcomm's ensuing response are of both a technical and a political nature.
The team responsible for bringing on next-generation innovation to Qualcomm have initiated an oddity by the name of Qualcomm Zeroth. These processor units are "brain-inspired computing" made real, pushing the limits of what it means for a bit of hardware to anticipate your needs and share our perception of the world naturally. Qualcomm's Research and Development teams have been working on architecture here that they say "breaks the traditional mold" my mimicking the human brain and nervous system.
This morning a lovely piece of video has surfaced showing the LG-made Nexus 5 from all angles, complete with an early version of KitKat called Key Lime Pie. This device appears to be working with KitKat, but as you'll find in the menu pull-down the user attains right off the bat, he'll be heading down to the version of the software released to Google's developers before the name change. You'll also find this device's software moving swiftly - Buttery smoothness in full effect.
Qualcomm is readying a new kind of artificial brain chip, dubbed neural processing units (NPUs), modeling human cognition and opening the door to phones, computers, and robots that could be taught in the same ways that children learn. The first NPUs are likely to go into production by 2014, CTO Matt Grob confirmed at the MIT Technology Review EmTech conference, with Qualcomm in talks with companies about using the specialist chips for artificial vision, more efficient and contextually-aware smartphones and tablets, and even potentially brain implants.
Back on the 2nd of October, a bit of buzz was generated at the hands of Qualcomm senior vice president and chief marketing officer Anand Chandrasekher with regard to Apple's 64-bit A7 chip. He suggested at the time that "there's a lot of noise because Apple did [64-bit] on their A7," going on to say that this implementation was a "marketing gimmick." Today Qualcomm has stepped forward to correct Chandrasekher's suggestion that "there's zero benefit a consumer gets from that."