With Apple and Google poised to launch assaults on the budding smartwatch market this year, it’s still unclear whether Microsoft will offer up a wearable device of its own. A new patent awarded to the company makes it clear Redmond has a few ideas for a fitness tracking gadget, though whether these concepts ever hit the market is still up for debate.
The patent, which was awarded to Microsoft last week and recently spotted by Patent Bolt, describes a potential fitness tracking smartwatch that also offers support for messaging, phone calls and music controls. The company also details a docking station that could double as an alarm clock, while the display can even pop out from the wristband for use with other exercise equipment. The device would measure distance covered using a GPS as well as the wearer’s pulse, and display the number of calories burned during a workout.
The newly awarded patent was filed about two years ago, which actually lines up with previous reports claiming Microsoft began developing a smartwatch in 2012. Clearly the company is considering a wearable device of its own to compete with Apple, Google and the rest of the industry, but whether the rumored smartwatch is even close to being ready for a public launch is still a mystery.