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How Android Wear will bring a VoIP experience to your smartwatch?

October 29, 2014 by Omar Sohail

After dominating the smartphone operating system market share, Google has decided to branch out its operating system to other devices, most notably, wearables. Naturally, since wearables are miniature versions of mobile devices, they will have to start running something other than the Android operating system.

Introducing Google’s Android wear; a modified operating system that is designed to run on small screen devices such as smartwatches. What’s Google’s next plan; to bring the Android experience to wearables and with that experience, VoIP connectivity will most definitely be included.

The starting products always spread the foundation

Only a few days ago, the release of the Moto 360, G Watch R and the Samsung Gear S gave the technological populace on what’s in store for the future of wearables. In terms of aesthetics, all three smartwatches deliver the look of a wristwatch but the Android wear operating system pushes the experience to a whole new level.

The absence of wireless connectivity is surely noted and missed (except on the Samsung Gear S, which possesses both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity) on these compact mobile devices but since these are the first products that have been introduced to the nascent category of wearables, you can expect better variants (better meaning equipped with additional features and functionality) of these devices to be manufactured and shipped in the future.

Things that will most likely be present in future products

Currently, Qualcomm happens to possess the larger piece of the mobile chipset share, with a share percentage of 66%, followed by MediaTek and Spectrum. However, the interesting statistic here is that MediaTek, who is known for incorporating its chipsets in to entry level and mid-ranged devices, has a bigger piece of the lower-tier market compared to Qualcomm.

In China, the company has already started gaining immense momentum, with 40 percent of the country’s chipset market share belonging to MediaTek, and 27 percent belonging to Qualcomm.

The insertion of this statistical data is important because more and more devices carrying a combination of a friendly price tag and delivering earth shattering performance ranging from video playback, multitasking, VoIP calling and gaming are already playing havoc with larger priced devices (examples of incredibly cost effective devices are the OnePlus One and Xioami’s Mi4).

These low cost (but amazingly high performing) devices have prompted mobile chipset manufacturing companies to start triangulating their attention towards the lower tier market, where the frequency of purchasing mobile devices has increased exponentially due to decreased prices.

This is where wearables are going to be inserted in to the equation. Since it would be ludicrous to stamp a smartwatch with an insanely high price tag (due to the fact that users would automatically be inclined to spend the same amount of money buying a smartphone possessing more features and functionalities compared to a smartwatch possessing limited capabilities), companies have started researching on how to start incorporating low powered, low cost and small surface area chipsets in to wearables.

These low cost chipsets will provide wireless connectivity (through WiFi and mobile data) on to wearables in order to give these devices the same VoIP communication functionality as large screen smartphones.

One of these companies is Intel; whose next plan is to start rolling out 3G modems that are small enough to fit in to the surface area of smartwatches and provide more networking performance compared to a regular 3G modem.

No doubt developers are going to be given some additional headroom as long as Android Wear is concerned. VoIP apps present on smartphones are eventually going to make their way to smartwatches, but will possess a modified interface. While the process will take some time, it is imminent that in the foreseeable future, users will be able to enjoy the same VoIP calling experience that they get while being immersed in smartphones.


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