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Microsoft’s Smartwatch Being Developed by Kinect Co-Creator, Report Says

by Jacob Kleinman | December 19, 2013December 19, 2013 10:30 am PST


We’ve been hearing reports since October that Microsoft is working on its own wearable technology to compete with Google Glass, the Galaxy Gear, and a host of rumored upcoming devices, but a new report adds a little more detail to what’s being developed behind the scenes at the company’s Redmond headquarters. Speaking to The Verge, an anonymous insider confirmed that Alex Kipman, one of the “fathers of Kinect,” is heading Microsoft’s wearables team, confirming an earlier report from ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley.

Kipman, whose current title at Microsoft is still General Manager of Incubation for Xbox, has apparently switched his focus over to testing smartwatch and Google Glass-style HUD devices. Specifically, his team is working on customizing Windows software so it can run on these products, which may include a 1.5-inch Surface watch and a set of 3D Kinect glasses codenamed Fortaleza.

Xbox 720 Fortaleza

Considering Kipman’s experience developing the Kinect, it makes sense Microsoft would tap him to help develop a set of glasses designed to complement the Xbox camera. How a smartwatch fits in is somewhat unclear, though it has us thinking the rumored Surface smartwatch might rely heavily on sensors similar to the technology Kipman helped developed for the Kinect.

the verge zdnet

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...