Microsoft rumored to be working on touch-enabled 'smart watch' designs

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Coming amidst rumors of so-called "smart watch" products from Apple and Samsung, software giant Microsoft is now said to be mulling an entrance into the still nascent wearable computing device sector with designs of its own.

Suunto
Exammple of a Suunto-built watch running Microsoft's now-defunct SPOT platform.


Executives at Microsoft's Asian suppliers told The Wall Street Journal that the company is working on designs for a touch-enabled "watch-style" product, and requested shipments of 1.5-inch displays for internal testing earlier this year.

One executive reportedly met Microsoft's R&D team at the firm's headquarters in Redmond, Wash., but offered no specifics regarding the watch's feature set. It remains unknown if the product will even move out of the prototyping stage.

As noted by the publication, the rumored device would be Microsoft's second attempt smart watch initiative, the first being an offshoot of the Smart Personal Object Technology (SPOT) platform for which watchmakers like Suunto, Fossil and Swatch made products until 2008. The program, launched in 2004, was subsequently adopted in a wider range of electronics including GPS units, and sent weather, traffic and other data from MSN Direct servers to devices over FM radio broadcasts. The service cost $59 per year.

Apple and Samsung are said to be preparing smart watch devices which are said to communicate wirelessly with the companies' respective smartphone offerings. While information regarding Apple's supposed offering has only been whispers and speculation, Samsung went so far as to announce they are actively working on a such a product, having worked on it "for so long." In addition, Google and LG are also rumored to be preparing branded smart watches, suggesting the industry could see a major boom in the coming months.

Today's news points to a possible expansion of Microsoft's first-party computer hardware offerings, with the company perhaps looking to build on the moderate success of its Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets. The stripped-down RT launched in October, followed by the Pro in February, with combined sales reaching a total of 1.5 million units. The company is also thought to be readying a 7-inch Surface to cash in on the growing popularity of small form factor tablets like Apple iPad mini.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60


    Of course they are.

     

  • Reply 2 of 60
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,608member
    I'm gonna laugh my ass off if Apple has been leaking smart watch "info" to let Samsung and MS zig while it zags :)
  • Reply 3 of 60


    ME TOO!!! ME TOO! LOOK AT ME EVERYBODY!!!.....GET LOST SAMSUNG, I WAS HERE FIRST


    SHUTUP MS, OUR WATCH WILL BE BETTER.........so what do you think Apple's watch is going to look like and do?


    </Apple snickering in the corner>

  • Reply 4 of 60
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,330member


    Who the **** isn't rumored to be working on a smart watch now? I wouldn't be surprised if my cat was working on one. 


     


    Also, if this is true, it doesn't matter who comes out with it first, or how similar the concepts are. It only matters who does it right, and I know which company I would bet on. 

  • Reply 5 of 60


    And… all of them will wait until Apple release their smartwatch. (you know what i mean - copy quick copy quick)


     


    Apple should challenge all of them to release theirs before they unveil their iWatch. 

  • Reply 6 of 60
    I agree with mazda 3s, it will be wonderful to find out that Apple has no watch in mind at all, and rather that they've been leaking out disinformation, while re-inventing something totally different. And I don't mean TV. I mean, maybe a novel type of non-gasoline engine for automobiles (maybe enven an entire automobile company to market the engine), or a re-invented Segway-style personal transportation device, or a new kind of espresso machine, or a 3-D printer, or a new form of exercise/workout device, or a new line of ergonomic footwear, or something medical-related, such as artificial heart or kidney, or a new type of dialysis device. Apple Inc has a lot of talent, and I'm sure they've got lots of ideas that we can't anticipate. Meanwhile, if they can occupy Samsung and MS with the idea of a timepeice, to keep them busy.... brilliant!
  • Reply 7 of 60

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post





    As noted by the publication, the rumored device would be Microsoft's second attempt smart watch initiative, the first being an offshoot of the Smart Personal Object Technology (SPOT) platform for which watchmakers like Suunto, Fossil and Swatch made products until 2008. 



     


     


    This is would not be the second, but a third attempt by Microsoft! Remember the Timex Data Link? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timex_Datalink


     


    I used to have one. It was fun pointing it at the monitor to transfer data. It even had wristapps! With a cult following, this one was not a failure though. Of course SPOT was a disaster!

  • Reply 8 of 60
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    It better be fcuken beige, Ballmer. Or I ain't buying !
  • Reply 9 of 60
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Finally I can pump out those Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets and Word documents while I'm out and about...
  • Reply 10 of 60
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member

    Your username is most amusing!

    Surprisingly, I'm not even a Trekkie.
  • Reply 11 of 60
    Maybe I'm different but....

    I hate wearing watches.

    I also think that nowadays, the watch wearing crowd has been shrinking since we all have clocks in our pockets via any phone. Ask Casio, Timex, Swatch, how their business was disrupted by mobile phones.

    The connected watch is NOT going to be the "next big thing" regardless if its Apple, MS, Google, or Samsung. It's not going to be a revolution like MP3 players, or current smartphones.
  • Reply 12 of 60
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    spacepower wrote: »
    Maybe I'm different but....

    I hate wearing watches.

    I also think that nowadays, the watch wearing crowd has been shrinking since we all have clocks in our pockets via any phone. Ask Casio, Timex, Swatch, how their business was disrupted by mobile phones.

    The connected watch is NOT going to be the "next big thing" regardless if its Apple, MS, Google, or Samsung. It's not going to be a revolution like MP3 players, or current smartphones.

    Yea matey, many have posted in other threads about the same.
    I think the idea of a smart watch is a dog.
    But, I could be surprised. If any company can make this work it will be Apple.
    I like the leaked tech theory.
  • Reply 13 of 60


    Will it have a kick-stand? If so I will be in line for one!  /s

     

  • Reply 14 of 60
    They completely miss judged it and must follow apple.When iPhone 5 released what i found is weird resolution 1136x640,and everybody(me too but not now) starts criticizing for looking like long remote,but when first iwatch patent filing came out ,i found criticized resolution is turned out to be priceless later.That weird 1136x640 resolution is perfectly matches iwatch patented(band like).I think apple saved most time by not developing different resolution for two different products which is turned out to be best idea after being heavily criticized.I think so called killer app apple working is being able to run both iPhone 5 and iwatch no need to spend time two different resolution and testing it ..Also Benefit is with developer,they no need to develop app for two different resolution.i think other will be two behind apple in smart watch..i think apple is so smart in choosing that resolution even being get heavily criticized and marketed as one hand use but one handed use will be iwatch but no wonder if they get prized for it by the same people who trolled apple....:lol:

    No wonder if apple working on bigger and broad phone...
  • Reply 15 of 60

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post

     



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GTR View Post





    Your username is most amusing!



    Surprisingly, I'm not even a Trekkie.


     


    I find him most engaging and feel like forming an away team number one </pulls down shirt>

  • Reply 16 of 60
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    fotoformat wrote: »
    Will it have a kick-stand? If so I will be in line for one!  /s

     

    Im in a privileged position to answer this for you :-)
    Yes it will !

    A very very small one.
  • Reply 17 of 60


    Here's the thing...


     


    even if microsoft or anyone else brings something like this out, it won't have the wide range of goodies to connect with like Apple does.


     


    Imagine using the iWatch as a remote for your Apple TV ?


     


    What about content from iTunes? Can't do that with Microsoft product (yes, I know microsoft have something similar, but really, you get my point)


     


    What about shared calendars, to do etc between iOS devices, Mac OS and all the other wonderfully shared stuff that Apple already have numerous products for?


     


    I understand that Microsoft are trying very hard to do the same thing with Surface etc, but the reality is, too little too late and Apple just simply do it better, because they control all the hardware and software across the whole suite (desktop, laptop, portable devices)


     


    And even then, if someone else manages to bring out the whole suite and make them all happy together, they will still lack the already existing global distribution and support that Apple have established over the last 5 years or so. Sumsung has also tried with Samsung stores, but if they are anything like my customer experience with Samsung, they are in deep doo doo - WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER! And this was with an expensive TV under warranty!


     


    I've been a fan of Apple products since the late 70's and I think they've finally got it right. Now all they need to do is keep innovating. So, iWatch, please have a heart rate monitor, bluetooth, have enough memory for a decent amount tunes, apps and content, a decent battery so you can have plenty of up time, easy charging and most of all, that beautiful elegance that your iMac so proudly displays.

  • Reply 18 of 60
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,512member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RobM View Post



    It better be fcuken beige, Ballmer. Or I ain't buying !


    LOL


     



     


    I'm mostly impatient to use a good smartwatch for navigation and quick internet searches. I hope they build a search database more solid than ever.

  • Reply 19 of 60
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,415member
    Prepare the photocopiers!
    Photocopiers standing by.
  • Reply 20 of 60
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,415member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Spacepower View Post



    The connected watch is NOT going to be the "next big thing" regardless if its Apple, MS, Google, or Samsung. It's not going to be a revolution like MP3 players, or current smartphones.


     


    "The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a 'mouse'. There is no evidence that people want to use these things. I dont want one of these new fangled devices."


     


    San Francisco Examiner, John C. Dvorak, 19 Feb. 1984

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