The smartwatch race is on, and Microsoft has its own contender in the works.
Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch lineup is widely considered a dud, and many are waiting to see what Apple has up its sleeve with the iWatch. Not to be left behind, Microsoft is gunning for the fitness market with a wearable of its own that could arrive as early as this summer..
Perhaps most surprising of all is that Microsoft’s device will reportedly be platform agnostic, meaning it would work with Android and even the iPhone.
“The device will draw on optical engineering expertise from Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect division to continuously measure heart rate through the day and night, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the company’s plans, while the battery will last for two days, roughly on par with Samsung’s Gear Fit,” reports Forbes.
Rumors of a Microsoft smartwatch have been around for awhile. The Wall Street Journal reported that the company was working with suppliers on touch-enabled watch devices last summer.
The design will allegedly feature a color touchscreen “about the size of half a stick of gum.” The screen is said to be on the inside of the wrist in an attempt to protect the user’s privacy. It sounds like an odd design choice. Maybe there will be some sort of cover that can be flipped open to view the screen. Microsoft seems to like flippable covers already.
Why would Microsoft make a smartwatch that works with the iPhone and other platforms? The same reason it shipped Office for iPad. Newly-appointed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has made it clear that Microsoft’s goal is to get its software and services on every device it can.
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote is this Monday, but any sort of iWatch-related announcement is not expected. Recent rumors suggest the device will go into production this summer for release later this year.