Patent published on January 11, 2024

New Patent by Qualcomm Improves Smartwatch Reception in Water

New Patent by Qualcomm Aims to Improve Smartwatch Reception in Water

In a groundbreaking development, technology giant Qualcomm has recently filed a patent that addresses a persistent issue faced by users of wearable gadgets, particularly those engaging in water-based activities such as swimming. This patent, titled "Devices and Techniques for Improving Reception or Compensating for Attenuation of GNSS Signals During Water Immersion Activities," with the patent number US20240012154A1, proposes a solution to enhance the functionality and performance of smartwatches in aquatic environments.

The core problem being solved by this patent is the limited reception and reliability of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals in water. Currently, gadgets, including wearable gadgets like smartwatches, struggle to receive navigation signals when submerged in water during activities such as swimming strokes. This limitation poses challenges for users who rely on GPS capabilities to track their open water swim paths accurately or measure total distances covered.

The attenuation of GNSS signals in water results in inconsistent and unreliable readings, with the trace of GNSS fixes jumping around when the device is submerged. Moreover, obtaining valid ephemerides for GNSS receivers can be time-consuming, potentially exceeding 30 seconds or even minutes, which is unacceptably long for users in need of real-time positioning information.

Qualcomm's patent proposes a novel approach to solve this problem. The invention involves collecting GNSS information using a second gadget to overcome the Doppler effect caused by arm movements during swimming strokes. By representing the ephemeris data and clock correction data using scaled values and scaling factors, the size of the file containing this information can be significantly reduced. This reduction in file size streamlines the transmission and download process, reducing the time taken for data transfer and conserving device memory resources.

One noteworthy advantage of this invention is its potential impact on the effectiveness of wearable gadgets in enhancing swim stroke efficiency. The smaller size and power consumption of the micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors used in this technology make them ideal for integration into small wearable gadgets that prioritize weight and power efficiency.

Imagine a world where swimmers can effortlessly track their open water swim path, measure distances covered, and accurately gauge their swim stroke efficiency. With the implementation of Qualcomm's patent, smartwatches equipped with this technology would provide precise GPS positioning data even during water immersion activities. These devices would become reliable companions for swimmers, ensuring that their swimming experiences are enhanced and data-driven.

For instance, a swimmer could readily monitor their performance metrics, including stroke efficiency, distance covered, and pace. Coaches and fitness trainers could also utilize this technology to provide personalized feedback and training plans based on real-time data. Furthermore, with improved reception in water, smartwatches equipped with this technology could potentially contribute to enhanced safety during open water activities, aiding in the prevention of accidental drift or getting lost.

It should be noted that, as with any patented invention, there is no guarantee that this technology will be commercially available. However, the possibilities offered by Qualcomm's patent hold significant promise for the future of wearable gadgets and their adaptability to a wide range of water-based activities.

P.S. This article discusses a patent filed by Qualcomm, highlighting its potential capabilities to enhance smartwatch reception in water-based activities. It is important to note that the existence of a patent does not guarantee the appearance of the invention in the market.

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