Microsoft is working on a smartwatch that will be able to measure your heart rate and will work with iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone devices, according to Forbes.
Microsoft reportedly plans to equip the watch with plenty of sensors, although Forbes doesn’t mention any specific features other than its heart rate monitor.
Engineers from Microsoft’s Kinect division will be working on the watch’s heart rate monitor, which will be able to keep track of your heart throughout the day and night.
Unlike Samsung’s new Gear Fit, Microsoft’s smartwatch will continuously measure your heart rate without the need to trigger a certain feature. Microsoft is working on a software platform for this wearable that will focus on displaying health information gathered by these sensors.
The wrist-worn gadget will have a full colour touchscreen that is said to be about the same size as a stick of gum. This screen would sit on the inside of the wearers wrist to keep notifications private, much like the secondary screen on Razer’s Nabu fitness tracker, which was announced at CES in January.
The decision to make its smartwatch compatible with iOS and Android would seemingly keep with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s strategy to branch out to other platforms. In April, Nadella unveiled a new version of Microsoft Office that’s designed to work with the iPad.
Based on the new report, it sounds as if Microsoft is planning to create a wearable that would address one of the biggest criticisms we’ve heard about smart watches so far. Most smart watches don’t really offer much functionality that your phone doesn’t already offer — making a $US200-$300 product a hard sell for most consumers.
But incorporating more health-focused features, such as an always-on heart rate monitor, could potentially make Microsoft’s option more compelling.
It’s unclear exactly when the watch will launch, but if Forbes’ report is accurate Microsoft could be eyeballing a summer release.
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