2021 is turning out to be a pivotal year for the growth of the Wear OS ecosystem. Back in May, Google and Samsung got the ball rolling with the announcement of a new unified Wear OS platform for smartwatches. Over on the hardware side, Qualcomm is also getting serious. The San Diego-based chipmaker made a bunch of announcements today to reiterate its commitment to the wearable ecosystem and shared how it plans to help the wearable ecosystem.
In a press release, Qualcomm revealed that it’s ramping up investments in wearable chipsets and technologies and plans to roll out new Snapdragon Wear chipsets spanning various segments over the next year. However, everything is still up in the air as no exact details are given on the actual chipsets.
Another announcement Qualcomm made today is the launch of the “Wearables Ecosystem Accelerator” program, which aims to help OEMs speed up the development and commercialization of wearables.
Qualcomm will play the role of a matchmaker as it connects wearable hardware/software providers, component vendors, and system integrators with OEMs, ODMs, carriers, and platform players. The program brings together major wearable players under one roof to develop collaborative relationships and foster joint business opportunities among member companies. Members can discuss industry trends, hold training sessions, demonstrate concepts, and team up with other member companies to develop new products.
“We are delighted to announce the Wearables Ecosystem Accelerator Program today and have an ambitious set of activities. Our goal is to provide a vehicle in the industry where ecosystem partners collaborate to deliver the differentiated wearable experiences and inject new energy and innovation in this exciting space,” said Pankaj Kedia, global head of the wearables segment, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
Today’s announcement was likely spurred by Google and Samsung teaming up to rebuild Wear OS. Qualcomm likely wants to assure its partners and the public that it takes the wearable processor segment seriously.
Qualcomm’s Wearables Ecosystem Accelerator program is open to companies developing wearable products based on the Snapdragon Wear platforms. Qualcomm will also be holding Wearables Ecosystem Summit later this fall, where the company will likely share more details about the new Snapdragon Wear chips.