Why Wearables Shouldn’t Be a ‘Chip’ Off the Old Block

Why Wearables Shouldnt Be a Chip Off the Old Block Why Wearables Shouldnt Be a Chip Off the Old BlockABI Research is out with a new report that reveals that startling rate at which smartphone components are being used in smartwatches in lieu of optimized smartwatch components.

Apparently, this is happening even when wearables makers claim otherwise.

Teardowns of a number of devices found that nobody has an optimal wearable peripheral solution yet. The Samsung Galaxy Gear and Z-watch use application processors originally targeted for smartphone/tablets and the uWatch goes a step further by using a full blown GPRS SOC, MediaTek MT6260, but only uses the integrated BT. Other watches like the Sony series and Pebble use discrete solutions. The end result is less than optimal battery life and unnecessary cost/size that get passed on to the consumer.

Jim Mielke, ABI Research’s VP of engineering, presented the findings this week.

“Our findings show the chipset suppliers are playing the ‘wait and see’ game before making investments into wearable peripherals,” Mielke writes. “Of the solutions available the oversized application processors draw too much current and cost far too much. Discrete solutions tend to be physically large and also a little higher cost than necessary. The closest match is the SOCs with embedded BT which can be both power and size efficient with the only drawback being slight cost impact. Once the market takes off expect to see a number of truly optimal solutions available.”



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