HindustanTimes Mon,20 Oct 2014


HTC's smartwatch coming to Mobile World Congress: report
February 21, 2014
First Published: 10:40 IST(21/2/2014)
Last Updated: 10:59 IST(21/2/2014)
The Qualcomm Toq. Photo: AFP

HTC is reported to have a host of potential of wrist-worn devices up its sleeve, and the first looks set to make its debut at Monday's global smartphone and telecoms gathering in Barcelona.

At the beginning of this month, HTC chairman Cher Wang told Bloomberg that the company had been working on wearable technology for some time and claimed that it had solved the biggest problems that smartwatches face -- battery life and screen performance.

Fast-forward to today and reports are surfacing that an advanced prototype version of this problem-solving smartwatch will be making an appearance at MWC and that it will be based on the Qualcomm Toq.

The Toq is a smartwatch unveiled in September that uses wireless charging to keep the battery topped up with minimal fuss and that uses a clever low-energy yet always-on Mirasol touch-screen. Or so says a person with direct knowledge of the plans who spoke to Bloomberg.

So far, not particularly impressive or revolutionary. However, the same source also says that HTC is developing a second smartwatch that is built around Google Now, the search company's contextual search and concierge service that pushes relevant information to users based on likes, preferences, diary dates, email inbox and geographical location.

So, for example, if the watch wearer likes Italian food, hasn't eaten and is walking around a city center, Google Now will alert him or her that a good Italian bistro is within walking distance, along with a list of specials and reviews.

Contextual features and services like that could be the key to making smartwatches actually worth owning. But HTC still isn't done. It is also making a bracelet that plays music.

The company plans to show its prototypes to network carriers and other companies attending MWC, which kicks off on February 24 but it's not clear if journalists or other attendees will get to see them; what is clear is that HTC is focused on officially launching its first wearable technology device before Christmas 2014.

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