Microsoft has been rumored to be working on a smartwatch for more than a year now, and a refresh report today suggests the company is preparing a sensor-rich device. Forbes reports that Microsoft’s smartwatch will work with iPhones, Windows Phones, and Android handsets, and will measure heart rate to sync the data to devices. Microsoft is said to be using engineers from its Kinect division to make the smartwatch “continuously measure heart rate through the day and night.” There’s no precise timeline provided for the rumored smartwatch, but Forbes suggests it could arrive as early as this summer with two days of battery life.
Microsoft's smartwatch might work on iPhones and Android handsets
If the report is accurate then it’s no surprise Microsoft is drawing on its Xbox experts to bring a smartwatch to life. Microsoft’s “father of Kinect,” Alex Kipman, is now working on wearable projects at the company, customizing Windows to run on small screens. Former head of Microsoft devices, Julie Larson-Green, also hinted at a wearable future for the company, noting at a conference last year that “sensors are going to become a big part of how you think about things.”
Of course, if Microsoft does bring a smartwatch to market, it won’t be its first attempt at wearables for the mainstream. Back in 2004 it fielded a product under the name SPOT that used FM radio signals to send instant messages from Windows Messenger, news headlines, stock information, and weather forecasts as part of a paid subscription service. Production was stopped in 2008 and the SPOT (Smart Personal Object Technology) project was finally canceled in 2012.