Microsoft is reportedly ready to launch a wearable device within weeks which will work across iOS, Android and Windows Phone platforms.
According to Forbes, the device will boast a two-day battery life, track heart rates and draw on “optical engineering expertise from its Kinect division”. There’s no news yet on what Microsoft will call the smartwatch or how much it will cost.
With scant details, it looks as though Microsoft’s watch will fit more into the fitness band category than smartwatch, but the lines between the two are becoming increasingly blurred.
Last month, Pebble partnered with Jawbone and Misfit to add apps to its smartwatch that continuously track activity, reported by Forbes to be a key feature of Microsoft’s new device.
Reports that Microsoft’s watch will be cross-platform are consistent with CEO Satya Nadella’s vision for Microsoft to be all things to everyone and could give it the edge to compete with Apple’s Watch, which will only be compatible with iOS devices.
Forbes first reported Microsoft’s plan to release a smartwatch back in May. At the time, it was rumoured to be working toward a release date to match the original release date set by Apple for its Apple Watch. Apple has since delayed the Watch release until early 2015.
The wrist wearables market is already starting to look crowded, although it’s fair to say no one product has exactly ignited the market yet. Statista says the wearable device market will be worth $7.1bn next year, rising to $12.6bn in 2018.
Will.i.am finally launched his smartwatch last week, although by some reports, you shouldn’t get too excited about it.
And just today, Fitbit announced it will launch three new fitness trackers in the next few weeks, including a “superwatch”, Surge.
The Verge reports:
Set to be priced at $249, the Surge includes built-in GPS tracking — a big draw for runners — PurePulse heart rate monitoring, and promises to provide real time workout data for a variety of activities. You’ll get stats on distance, pace, elevation climbed, heart rate intensity, and so on.