Microsoft rumoured to launch smartwatch this summer
Microsoft is gearing up to launch an iWatch rival, according to Forbes.
According to the publication, the Microsoft smartwatch will be “sensor rich”, measuring the wearer’s heart rate with the ability to sync with Windows Phone, iPhone and Android smartphones.
The device could even launch as early as this summer, Forbes‘ sources claim, meaning it could gazump Apple’s iWatch, which is rumoured to be launching this September.
The iWatch is expected to sport similar features, including a heart rate and blood pressure monitor and, of course, integration with the iPhone.
According to Forbes, the Microsoft smartwatch will “draw on optical engineering expertise from Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect division” for its heart rate monitoring capabilities, whereas the iWatch is thought to rely on sound.
It will also have a two-day battery life, putting it on a par with Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Fit.
Unlike the Gear Fit, or indeed most regular watches, the Microsoft smartwatch’s full-colour touchscreen will be positioned on the inside of the wearer’s wrist. This is apparently to make it easier to read messages privately.
Rumours about Microsoft working on a smartwatch have been circulating since the beginning of the month, when the company filed a patent with the US Patent & Trademark Office.
The patent describes a “wearable information system” with a display, optical sensor, and data connector secured with a “tongue and groove connection” – i.e. a watch strap. The patent also indicated the display may be removable.
If the rumours turn out to be true, this would actually be the second time Microsoft has taken a crack at the smartwatch market. Back in 2004, the company debuted its SPOT range of connected devices, which included a Fossil smartwatch and Melitta coffee maker. The range was discontinued in 2012 due to lack of demand.