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Qualcomm To Announce A New Chip Especially For Kids’ Smartwatches

The new chip would be smaller than the prior "Wear chips"

Qualcomm To Announce A New Chip Especially For Kids' Smartwatches
Qualcomm To Announce A New Chip Especially For Kids' Smartwatches. Pixabay

Global chipmaker Qualcomm is likely to announce a new chip called “Snapdragon Wear 2500” that is especially designed for kids’ smartwatches.

The new chip would be smaller than the prior “Wear chips” and is supposed to provide slightly better battery life.

“The chip supports LTE, up to a 5-megapixel camera, location tracking and plenty of other sensors,” The Verge reported late on Tuesday.

“Kids’ watches are built to give kids the ability to keep learning and connecting with gadgets when they leave the house and find themselves in school, where they aren’t always beside a computer,” Pankaj Kedia, who leads wearables at Qualcomm, was quoted as saying.

However, “Snapdragon Wear 2500,” would not support Google’s smartwatch operating system (OS) “Wear OS”.

Instead, it would be paired with a custom version of Android that Qualcomm has built for kids’ watches called “Android for Kids” that would come preloaded with apps and games.

Snapdragon by qualcomm
Snapdragon by qualcomm. Flickr

Qualcomm has started providing the “Wear 2500” to hardware partners and Huawei could be among the first partners, the report said.

Qualcomm is also planning to launch its next general-purpose smartwatch chip meant for “Wear OS” watches “but there is no word on when that would happen as of now”.

Also read: Qualcomm, Microsoft offer ‘always connected’ PCs with smartphone features

The chipmaker announced its last processor for wearables, the “Snapdragon Wear 2100,” in February 2016. (IANS)

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Immersive VR Can Help Kids Overcome Autism Phobias

In a separate study, published in the Autism in Adulthood journal by the same team, the VR treatment was shown to be effective in autistic adults

Virtual Reality
A hospital patient uses virtual reality treatment for pain in this undated photo. VOA

Exposing children and adults with autism to immersive virtual reality (VR) can help alleviate their fears and phobias, say researchers.

A team from the UK’s Newcastle University developed ‘Blue Room’, a virtual environment, which requires no goggles. Here a person can comfortably investigate and navigate through various scenarios working with a therapist using iPad controls but remain in full control of the situation.

“For many children and their families, anxiety can rule their lives as they try to avoid the situations which can trigger their child’s fears or phobias,” said Professor Jeremy Parr from Newcastle’s Institute of Neuroscience.

“To be able to offer a treatment that works, and see the children do so well, offers hope to families who have very few treatment options for anxiety available to them,” Parr added.

Autism can affect a child’s learning and development, often resulting in impaired social and communication skills and many also have fears or phobias which can be very distressing but are often overlooked.

Toybox founder Arlene Mulder views a project that their tech innovation hub was involved in, a Virtual Reality exhibition at a Johannesburg art gallery. VOA

For the study, detailed in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, the team involved a small group of children with autism aged 8-14 years. Half received treatment in the ‘Blue Room’ straight away and half acted as a control group, receiving delayed treatment six months later.

“People with autism can find imagining a scene difficult which is why the ‘Blue Room’ is so well-received. We are providing the feared situation in a controlled way through VR and we are sitting alongside them to help them learn how to manage their fears,” explained Morag Maskey, researcher from Newcastle.

Also Read- AI Helping Differently-abled to Become More Independent: Microsoft

The results showed that overall 40 per cent of children treated showed improvement at two weeks, and 45 per cent at six months.

In a separate study, published in the Autism in Adulthood journal by the same team, the VR treatment was shown to be effective in autistic adults. (IANS)