Smartwatches are being talked about on a daily basis, especially with Google I/O ending last week and the big talk of Android Wear – an operating system designed completely for wearables or a smartwatch…and in true Google fashion, EVERYBODY can use it for FREE! The most well known and highly anticipated Android Wear smartwatch has to be the Moto 360, however, LG and even Samsung are also producing an Android Wear smartwatch. What about our buddies at Microsoft – Forbes reported last month that Microsoft would be coming out with a cross-platform smartwatch that could track your heart rate and sync data with your smartphone. The ability to be a cross-platform device means that Microsoft can design one smartwatch that will work with different smartphones and therefore broaden its appeal across company lines. It would also have open APIs and that the interface was “pretty slick.”
Not too much is known about Microsoft’s smartwatch/band, but our source did get some confirmations about a couple of things. The face of the device that you look at will face downward, on the inside of your wrist, rather than worn like a traditional wristwatch…they claim that turning your palm upward to your face is a more natural position for someone that constantly checks their device. Not sure I would agree with that because there are many times I glance at my wrist watch without even having to turn my wrist, because their natural position on a desk is already upward. Another item of note is the form factor – Microsoft has decided to forgo the large watch faces of Samsung, LG and Motorola and lean more towards the slim band design reminiscent of the fitness bands, only thinner and flatter. As far as the actual hardware, our source says the details are scant, however, there is supposed to be 11 sensors in the devices and a mixed bag of chips, including some from Texas Instrument (TI) and Atmel.
When our source reached out to Microsoft, a spokesperson told them, “Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation.” That is putting it mildly, as Microsoft has not even acknowledged that they are working on a smartwatch or any design! The release date is rumored to be around October – which is a tad late behind the announcements from their competitors. A big question is will people buy this as a watch replacement or consider it a fitness band – is it worthy of being called, ‘jewelry?’ One reason that smartwatches are sold is because of the amount of money consumers spend annually on watches/jewelry, but a ‘band,’ I just wonder if there will be a demand for it. It will have to hold up to the other smartwatches and fitness bands already on the market. Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know if you would buy a smartwatch or band from Microsoft…as always, we would love to hear from you.