Microsoft rumored to debut platform-agnostic 'smart wristband' in Q4 with focus on fitness

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2014
According to a rumor, Microsoft's expected foray into the burgeoning wearables market will be an activity-minded wristband-style device that works with all major mobile platforms including Windows Phone, Google's Android and Apple's iOS.


Microsoft's rumored wristband is said to resemble Samsung's Gear Fit pictured above. | Source: Samsung


As the wearables market heats up, big-name tech companies like Samsung and Motorola are getting into the game with early entries running Google's Android Wear mobile platform.

Citing sources familiar with the Redmond, Wash. company's plans, WinSupersite's Paul Thurrott reports Microsoft is not looking to release a wristwatch like other tech players, but a wristband instead. Perhaps the most notable feature, however, is that the device will be compatible with all three major mobile operating systems.

"From a differentiation standpoint, Microsoft's wearable will do something that no other wearable platform does. It will work with everything and not just the device maker's smart phone platform," Thurrott writes. "Where Samsung wearables only work with Samsung phones, Android Wear devices only work with modern Android devices, and Apple's rumored iWatch will obviously only work with iPhone, Microsoft will take a different approach. It will work with Android, iPhone and Windows Phone."

Microsoft is said to be focusing on fitness with its as-yet-unannounced smart device. Sensors will reportedly operate throughout the day to track steps taken and calories burned, while more advanced components can take heart rate readings. All data is pushed to a nearby smartphone and deconstructed using Microsoft software, possibilities being Bing Health & Fitness and Healthvault. The device is also thought to support third-party apps as well.

On the design side, sources say Microsoft chose to go with a wristband design akin to Samsung's Gear Fit device, with notifications and other alerts pushed from a handset and displayed onscreen.

Pricing and availability are not yet set in stone, nor is branding, though Thurrott has been hearing rumblings of a release in quarter four.

Rumors of a Microsoft smartwatch first surface in April 2013, when sources at upstream suppliers claimed the company was working on a touch-enabled "watch-style" device.

The software giant previously dabbled in wearable tech with its Smart Personal Object Technology (SPOT) platform, which was run in partnership with watchmakers like Suunto, Fossil and Swatch. The program launched in 2004 and slowly added a wider range of connected electronics, including GPS units, that received weather, traffic and other data sent from MSN Direct servers over FM radio broadcasts for a $59 per year fee. SPOT died in 2008.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    The WristSurfaceZune KIN edition.

    Given that MS axed the Surface Mini and focused on professionals, why bring out another consumer device?
  • Reply 2 of 38
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,384member
    Given that MS axed the Surface Mini and focused on professionals, why bring out another consumer device?

    I wasn't aware that they had announced, or released a Surface Mini, how did they managed to axe it?
  • Reply 3 of 38
    alcstarheelalcstarheel Posts: 554member
    *Snore*

    Not too excited about any Microsoft hardware.
  • Reply 4 of 38
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    jfanning wrote: »
    I wasn't aware that they had announced, or released a Surface Mini, how did they managed to axe it?

    The manual for the SP3 mentioned it in several locations. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2365846/oops-surface-pro-3-manual-confirms-surface-minis-existence.html
  • Reply 5 of 38
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,734member

    Hopefully it will run "full Windows 8." Because that solves everything.

  • Reply 6 of 38
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,382member

    Also-ran.

  • Reply 7 of 38
    hypoluxahypoluxa Posts: 645member

    It seems to me like every time Apple is rumored to come out with something brand new, Samsung or MS shortly thereafter have rumors of their hardware foray of similar regard. Apple should just make something up as a leak and see if MS or Samsung then copy it immediately just to embarrass them. Granted it is impossible to know who thought up what first, but still, it really does appear that way.

  • Reply 8 of 38
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member
    Paul Thurott is the Jim Dalrymple of Microsoft, this will almost certainly happen.

    The challenge is that devices designed specifically for a particular ecosystem will likely provide significantly more functionality than a third party device.
  • Reply 9 of 38
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,384member

    A reference in a document doesn't mean they have axed it
  • Reply 10 of 38
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    jfanning wrote: »
    A reference in a document doesn't mean they have axed it

    Reputable sources, including Paul Thurott, said it was originally planned to be announced at the event with the SP3, but Natella cancelled it at the last minute as it didn't bring anything new to the table. The 8" game is well covered by MS's hardware partners.
  • Reply 11 of 38
    chandrachandra Posts: 23member
    Google, Samsung, and now Microsoft jumping the shark with wearables. Hope Apple won't follow suit.
  • Reply 12 of 38
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,384member
    Reputable sources, including Paul Thurott, said it was originally planned to be announced at the event with the SP3, but Natella cancelled it at the last minute as it didn't bring anything new to the table. The 8" game is well covered by MS's hardware partners.

    A reputable source is the company themselves, no matter who you are talking about, you can guarantee information from these third party people. For all you know they may be waiting on the touch version of Office.
  • Reply 13 of 38
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member
    chandra wrote: »
    Google, Samsung, and now Microsoft jumping the shark with wearables. Hope Apple won't follow suit.

    I have reliable sources that indicate that the newest device from Apple will be something to watch.
  • Reply 14 of 38
    mac-sochistmac-sochist Posts: 675member
    [QUOTE]According to a rumor, Microsoft's expected foray into the [B]burgeoning[/B] wearables market...[/QUOTE]

    I gotta call a Montoya on this one: I do not think that means what you think it means.
  • Reply 15 of 38
    formosaformosa Posts: 261member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Perhaps the most notable feature, however, is that the device will be compatible with all three major mobile operating systems.

     

    Doesn't Windows have 2-3% marketshare? I guess that makes it a major OS.

  • Reply 16 of 38
    bernzbernz Posts: 5member
    I can't wait to see all the versions that are going to come out of this...

    MS TimeWatch, basic edition
    MS TimeWatch, professional edition
    MS TimeWatch 360
    MS TimeWatch 8.1, multi-lingual patch
    MS TimeWatch 360 with OneDrive and Skype connectivity

    and then...

    McAfee Anti-virus for MS TimeWatch
    SharePoint for MS TimeWatch
    .NET framework 5.1 for MS TimeWatch

    ... **yawn**
  • Reply 17 of 38
    Hopefully it will run "full Windows 8." Because that solves everything.

    And if you can't run a full version of office on it, I'll be very disappointed. This is a productivity device, right?
  • Reply 18 of 38
    blazarblazar Posts: 270member
    Doesnt look compelling and you look stupid wearing it...
  • Reply 19 of 38
    bro2mabro2ma Posts: 35member
    So which one of the three version of windows 9 will it run? Or will they make a 4th skin?
  • Reply 20 of 38
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member

    I'm sure it will be of the highest quality with 48 hour battery life.

Sign In or Register to comment.