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When are wearables ready for mass-market adoption?

Posted: 01 Aug 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wearable? processor? innovation? Qualcomm?

I'm just not sure that I can make the claim that in three years we won't be able to do that with a Linux-based or high-level operating system. I think a lot of the IP will be similar. I just don't buy the argument that we're not going to be running modern OSes, even for things that are on our wrists, because we'll be at 14nm or 10nm at that point and how much power will it really take for me to run that system? It will be a wild, wild West for a little bit, but what will win is the software ecosystem. If I get a runtime that lets me do things easily and there's a good open-source community around it, it will move really fast.

What do you think a winning chip is going to look like for a wearable?

Less important is the particulars of a chip but, rather, the architecture associated with it. If you want to do things at low power, there are ways you can do it by making things smaller...or having the software flexibility of a more sophisticated operating environment to manage the power better.

[In the future,] you'll see specific ways of buffering and pre-processing sensor data close to...rings of power that are different than rings of power we have now. We know processing sensor data for wearables will be one of those paths that we will optimise very heavily.

What do you think about the use of scaled-down phone chips for wearables?

I think that just as we saw some sort of specialisation in our own chip lines between the highest tier chip and the mass market chipswe build them differently nowyou'll see us build more specialised hardware for wearables.

Do you have any thoughts on how to make wearable data meaningful?

Devices shouldn't be sticky, the services should be sticky. For me, the first part of the data will be aggregation, the other one will be building inferences based on all that data and using machine learning. What I haven't seen yet is that inferencing and computation happen in more real-time and closer to the consumer. I wouldn't mind if these two devices talked to each other and got me more accurate information. The data right now is a very simplistic architecture, it shoves everything into a cloud and aggregates it and builds intelligence.

When wearables will get into mass market is when people will be able to take these building blocks and put them together the way they put together an outfit. Right now the ecosystems are too vertical, too silo-ed for the average consumer to have the patience to put up with it.

- Jessica Lipsky
??EE Times

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