A new smartwatch chip platform from Broadcom paves the way for cellular connectivity NFC in Android ar, even though doesn’t support those features just yet.
Broadcom’s so-called “Smartwatch atform” is designed for Android ar, its system-on-a-chip supports 2G 3G modems (no E, unfortunately). It also lets smartwatch makers tack on features such as G, NFC, wireless charging.
However, Android ar’s support for these featurtes is either non-existent or limited right now. The software isn’t designed around stalone cellular connectivity—there’s no built-in dialer, for instance— very few apps support G tracking on the watch itself. There aren’t any watch apps that use NFC capabilities, either.
In the meantime, Broadcom is promising other benefits for its wearable chips. The platform supports wireless charging, which makes nightly recharging easier by letting you plop the watch on a st. (Motorola’s Moto 360 already offers wireless charging, but it’s the exception rather than the rule.) Broadcom also claims a 40 percent improvement in power efficiency over previous chips, allowing watch makers to either create slimmer designs or longer-lasting hardware.
Broadcom is sending out samples of the chips now, so presumably we’ll start to see them in smartwatches later this year.
y this matters: There’s somewhat of a chicken–egg situation at play here, as it doesn’t make much sense for Android ar to support cellular connectivity NFC if the hardware doesn’t exist. By supporting these features early, Broadcom is letting watch makers future-proof their wares, perhaps nudging to add support in Android ar sooner rather than later.