We’ve been hearing rumors of a Microsoft smartwatch for a while now, but a new report from Forbes suggests the company might try to jump into the wearables market as soon as this summer with a wrist-based device of its own. Microsoft’s smartwatch will reportedly focus on fitness tracking and sync with iOS and Android devices as well as the company’s own Windows Phone platform, sources reveal.
Microsoft’s smartwatch design will apparently resemble the new Samsung Gear Fit but its color display will have unique positioning and will run along the side of the band, instead of along the top so that private notifications won’t be on display for everyone else to see. Meanwhile, the smartwatch’s sensor technology is apparently based on the Xbox Kinect, and will automatically record your heart rate at all times. That kind of monitoring will take a toll on the battery life, however, and the device will apparently only operate for about two days on a charge.
The decision to open up the rumored smartwatch to Android and iOS comes as a bit of a surprise, but it fits into Microsoft’s vision for the future under new CEO Satya Nadella. The company is beginning to offer more of its own software and services across competing platforms, most recently releasing a touch-based version of Microsoft Office for the iPad. Offering a Windows-powered smartwatch that works with the iPhone or an Android device could help get more people hooked on Microsoft services, though whether it can compete with growing excitement over Android Wear and the rumored iWatch remains to be seen.