The perfect smartwatch is deceptively simple: give it a great, always-on, glanceable display. Make it last for days on a charge. And for goodness’ sake, make it look good — it’s on your wrist all day, after all. You can’t hide it in your pocket like you do a phone.

No one’s yet figured it out and delivered the total package. For now, the wearables category is effectively the Wild West of the consumer electronics world, rife with rampant experimentation, weird ideas, and even weirder form factors. It’s a place where startups (like Kickstarter darling Pebble) still have a fighting chance against giants like Samsung. Nothing definitive has really come out of the primordial ooze: we know that wearables are a thing — and that it's going to evolve into one of the next great multibillion-dollar product categories — but we just don't really know what that thing is yet.

And now, that’s how we’ve ended up with the Qualcomm Toq. The California company, better known for making the guts that go inside your smartphone, is dipping its toe in the water with a consumer product in part because it has a story to tell other watchmakers: “We have an amazing display technology just sitting around collecting dust, and the next time you make a smartwatch, you might want to consider using it.”

It’s a compelling story, but it’s not without its plot twists.