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Broadcom Wants To Bolster Android Wear Watches

Irvine, Calif. – Semiconductor supplier Broadcom wants to bring longer battery life, built-in GPS, and other features to Android Wear smart watches.

During the March 2-5 Mobile World Congress (MWC), the company will show a smart watch reference design for original equipment manufacturers. The platform is now sampling.

The reference design reduces power usage by up to 40 percent over the previous generation. Its smaller form factor enables OEMs to add more features or include a larger battery, the company said. Feature options include integrated GPS, near field communication (NFC), wireless charging, and camera.

The platform also features Broadcom’s Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo chip.

The design can be used in high-end and affordable smart watches, said Larry Olivas, senior director of business development for wireless connectivity combos.

Wireless charging is already available in the Android Wear-based Moto 360 smart watch, and NFC is already available in the Sony Smart Watch 3. Turn-by-turn navigation is already available in Android Wear smart watches, but only when connected via Bluetooth to a GPS-equipped smartphone running Google Maps.