It seems like all tech giants are coming out with a smartwatch and now Google, Samsung and Apple may well have another rival to fend off before the year is out. Judging from a recently-surfaced patent filing, Microsoft could soon be coming out with its own version of a smartwatch.
Released by the US Patent Office on May 1, the filing actually dates back to October 2012, suggesting that Microsoft has been preparing to enter the wearable technology market for several years.
One of the major challenges for Microsoft would be to come up with a design that's stylish and desirable, anything most consumers have seen so far from Apple. Since the wearable device market is quite new, it would possibly give Microsoft a chance to become a huge competitor among gadget makers in this segment.
The patent unveils Microsoft’s plans for a smartwatch that is more fitness-centric, used to measure biometric data. Tapping the different icons on the device would in turn show necessary information like running icon for run length, heart icon for detecting heart-rate/pulse and the fire icon displays the number of calories burned. Aside from fitness the patent also shows Microsoft’s plan to incorporate other apps like messaging service, music player and phone into its smartwatch.
The yet unnamed Windows smartwatch can be removed from the band and then used with other hardware. For example, it could be inserted into fitness equipment to record fitness activities. Besides that detaching the watch body could help users clean the band from sweat after exercise and also it could possibly be used as an alarm clock. Apparently magnets will be used to make sure the connections are secure.
As Microsoft points out, one of the advantage of the wearable personal information system is that it provides consumers with more feedback regarding their workout. Presently, to get biometric information while exercising, users will have to wear an external heartbeat sensor like the chest straps.
Of course, the fact is that the patent was filed almost two years ago and there's no indication of quite when the fitness device may enter the market, or what kind of progress Microsoft has made in the wearable field. The company has so far declined to provide any information on the patent sighting and with its Nokia takeover having just been made official. Perhaps it could mean that we are a step closer to seeing an official fitness band offering from Microsoft sometime in the near future. That's a guessing game at this point.