Despite frequent updates, Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) is definitely stagnating from a hardware perspective. Most watches use Qualcomm's Wear 2100 processor, which is over two years old at this point. At long last, the company is working on a brand new mobile chipset for wearables, which will arrive this fall.
The new chip was confirmed by Qualcomm's senior director of wearables, Pankaj Kedia. It will be revealed this fall, alongside a 'lead' smartwatch using the chipset. The company expects other OEMs will have wearables with the processor available this holiday season.
The first round of Android Wear smartwatches used a slightly-modified Snapdragon 400 processor, and the Wear 2100 simply included minor adjustments. "But when we go to generation three," Kedia said, "it's designed from the ground up for a no-compromises smartwatch experience with dedicated chips that make your watch look pretty when you're not looking at it, that brings the best fitness and watch experience, and extends battery life."
In other words, Qualcomm's new wearable processor is exactly what Wear OS needs right now. Kedia confirmed there will be multiple variations of the chip, with some shipping with GPS and/or LTE. Hopefully NFC is included across the board, since there are only a handful of watches with Google Pay support.
Kedia also told Wareable, "This platform will significantly change the Wear OS ecosystem, what you expect from a smartwatch. It is working, we are shipping samples to our customers. I have seen it moving, it's very exciting."
According to WinFuture, this new Snapdragon chip will be dubbed the Wear 3100 and will come with Google's rumored Pixel-branded watch. The new chip will have great advancements in battery consumption and will allow for Ok Google detection even with the display off.