Microsoft smartwatch expected to be a breakthrough, set to land in 2014

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Rumours about Microsoft Corp.’s smart-watch have been circulating for a couple of years now, but no trustworthy details have ever emerged. On Friday Forbes reported that the device may be released already this year and may feature rather advanced health and fitness tracking capabilities. But, perhaps, the most important thing about the product is that it is going to be compatible with Apple iOS and Google Android in addition to the Windows platforms.

The smart-watch from Microsoft is projected to look similar to the Samsung Gear Fit and feature a full-color touch-screen “about the size of half a stick of gum”, according to the report. The display will be placed in an untraditional manner on the inside of the wearer’s wrist in a bid to maintain privacy when he or she reads notifications. The smartwatch is expected to feature multiple sensors to enable tracking of various things. However, one of the main features of Microsoft’s smart-watch is claimed to be continuous heart rate monitoring through the day and night. Thanks to certain proprietary innovations, even the constant heart rate tracking will not reduce the battery life and the product is projected to work for two days without recharging.

samsung gear fit Microsoft smartwatch expected to be a breakthrough, set to land in 2014

Samsung Gear Fit fitness tracking device

Unlike other makers of smart-bands or smart-watches, Microsoft will not lock its device into the Windows ecosystem. Microsoft’s smart-watch will work not only with devices based on the Windows or Windows Phone operating systems, but also with those powered by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. While at first this means that the Windows ecosystem in general will not get a unique advantage in the form of an advanced smartwatch device. It also means that Microsoft will be able to sell more smartwatches than its rivals, which may be crucial as the market of wearable computing devices is at an early stage of development.

The constant heart rate monitoring and some other health-related tracking technologies could help Microsoft to address the health-care industry with its new device. However, this has its drawbacks as any sophisticated medical device needs approval from the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and other health regulators, which slowdowns time-to-market.

samsung gear fit 1 Microsoft smartwatch expected to be a breakthrough, set to land in 2014

Samsung Gear Fit fitness tracking device

While the smartwatch from Microsoft will feature advanced health and fitness tracking capabilities, the placement of the display in a rather unorthodox manner indicates that it is also designed to be used privately (and potentially rather often) as a companion for smartphones.

Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.

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KitGuru Says: If the information about the smartwatch from Microsoft is correct, then the software giant seems to be preparing a very promising device. A cross-platform smartwatch from Microsoft could catalyse other leading technology companies to reconsider their strategies for wearable computing devices, which might result into a more cross-platform world in the future…

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  • fteo_viking

    This story bring hope to the Smartwatch/Healthband market from a large company who promised open compatibility which is rare these days. Most smartwatches starts out with Android compatibility then spread to IOS and hardly ever venture to WP8 platform. So for a WP8 platform maker to offer all universal compatibility (except for BlackBerry OS, poor souls …), it would be a good thing for the market. Considering that MS accessories devices has all been quality products including the Xbox controller, there is much hope for a decent product at a decent price range. Or MS could well surprise us with a range of watch offerings that others actually missed.

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