The Qualcomm Toq is probably my favorite smartwatch hardware to date, but the software still has some catching up to do. The update rolling out today for both the Toq and the companion app checks at least one more box by turning the device into a basic fitness tracker.
This should come as no surprise; it’s one of the first issues that I covered in my post on what’s next in wearable tech last month. While the primary function of the Toq is notification, there is a strong interest in quantification at the moment–as demonstrated by the dozens of fitness trackers announced at CES. Adding that functionality into a smartwatch, which already has the necessary sensors on board, is a no-brainer. Qualcomm is classifying this as a beta release of the activity tracker, so enhancements are to be expected. Walking around my house this morning and writing this post has netted me about 1,000 points. Even the slightest movement of the watch seems to record as a point, which is probably excessive. With that said, once you adjust to your average total that will still provide you with some data about your daily movement. When you turn on activity tracking, the app warns you that this will decrease the battery life on Toq. However, it has consistently lasted for a week during my usage, so the device has some battery life to give.
In addition to the fitness tracking, Qualcomm added a couple new watch faces to the mix. One displays your current activity points along with the time, and the other is a world clock. For the latter you can set a list of cities in the companion app on your phone, and when you pull it up on the watch, you can jump through the cities by just tapping on the touch sensitive area below the screen.
The final update was simply adding the option to toggle between Celsius and Fahrenheit.
They have a long way to go to challenge the functionality offered by Pebble, particularly after Pebble’s latest update with the app store, but it is good to see Qualcomm continue development on the Toq. It’s hard to believe that Qualcomm really believes the Toq will go somewhere as a standalone product, but I continue to hope that we see others adopt some aspects of this hardware. We are rapidly closing on the unveil for Samsung’s Galaxy Gear 2, and it could certainly take some cues from the Toq.
I imagine that few of you are actually Toq owners, so I’m interested in hearing whether you think that fitness tracking is a feature that should be present on all smartwatches. And if that isn’t on your list, what is your killer smartwatch feature beyond simple notifications?