Microsoft’s Fitness Smartwatch
Microsoft is the latest technology giant preparing to jump into the wearables market, with plans to offer a sensor-rich smartwatch that measures heart rate and synchs with iPhones, Android phones and Windows Phones. Here’s some surprising development about wearables that has been dominated by Samsung and Apple.
Microsoft will launch its first foray into modern wearable computing in the next few weeks, according to the usual “sources” close to the project. Depending on which source you listen to, Microsoft’s wearable is either a smartwatch with fitness band functionality, or a fitness band with limited smartwatch capabilities. In either case, the leaks seem to agree that Microsoft’s first modern wearable will have a screen (but maybe not a big one); passively monitor your heart rate (even while you’re asleep); support cross-platform notifications from iOS, Android, and Windows Phone; and that the device will get around two days of use between charges. (The image above is a render; I doubt it’ll actually look like that.)
Video about Microsoft Smartwatch
You might not know this, but Microsoft’s hardware and gadget efforts long predate the Surface line of tablets. At the very least, you’ve probably seen a Microsoft keyboard or mouse — but there has also been a large number of other, relatively unknown and unloved devices that were meant to establish a Microsoft beachhead in new markets, but were, almost universally, critical flops. Way back in 1992, Microsoft began its love affair with pen computing — yes, there really were Windows
3.1 devices that were controlled with a stylus.
In 2006 there was the Zune media player, and in 2010 the very short-lived Kin mobile phone. And, though very few people actually remember it, in 2004, in partnership with watchmakers like Fossil, Microsoft released some very ill-fated SPOT smartwatches. SPOT used MSN Direct — a wireless network that used FM radio signals — to send data to SPOT devices across the US and Canada.
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Source: Sebastian Anthony
Image source: Sungwon Shin