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Qualcomm launching smartwatch in time for the holidays

gadgets Updated: Nov 19, 2013 14:43 IST

The strangely named Toq will be available from December 2 and is priced to compete head to head with Samsung's Galaxy Gear.

Like the Samsung smartwatch, Qualcomm's is designed to mirror notifications from a smartphone, phablet or tablet, but unlike its competitor, the Toq is not exclusive to Samsung handsets and should work with any Android device running version 4.0.3 or later.

It's also a little bigger than the Galaxy Gear and has a cool Mirasol display which is very light on power yet somehow is always illuminated and easy to read whether in direct sunlight or a darkened room.

The device also has a couple of other neat tricks.

The first is that it charges wirelessly -- so there is no need to physically plug it in each time the battery dies; and it comes with two over-the-ear headsets, which, when worn together, offer stereo sound and hands-free calling so that you don't feel like you're playing at Dick Tracy or Knight Rider every time someone phones. Like the watch, the headsets are wirelessly charged too and so just need to be dropped back in the carrying case (which doubles as the wireless charging pad) when the batteries die.

However, despite these neat little tricks, the Toq is essentially a notifications center and remote control for a smartphone. You can check messages and skip tracks on the music player but the accessory still requires the user to continue carrying another device.

And Qualcomm is marketing the Toq as a first toe in the water, a proof of concept almost, and the first step towards a future where wearable technology is part of daily life. It just remains to be seen how many consumers will be willing to invest in taking the initial step too.

The Toq will be available to order priced at $350, direct from Qualcomm, from December 2.