TECH BUZZ: A Microsoft Smartwatch

A Microsoft - -Smart watch is Coming


Microsoft is the latest technology giant preparing to jump into the wearables market, with plans to offer a sensor-rich smartwatch that measures heart rate and synchs with iPhones, Android phones and Windows Phones, Forbes has learned.

It's a surprising development in the ongoing conversation about wearables that till now has been dominated by Samsung and Apple.

The device will draw on optical engineering expertise from Microsoft's Xbox Kinect division to continuously measure heart rate through the day and night, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the company's plans, while the battery will last for two days, roughly on par with Samsung's Gear Fi

The timeline for the watch's release date is unclear but Microsoft could be gunning for as soon as this summer.

Crucially, it appears the smartwatch won't just tie in with Windows Phone devices, but will also work with both iPhones and Android smartphones.

A spokesman for Microsoft would not comment on the details. "We have nothing to share," he said.

Still, early indications suggest the smartwatch may already be a step ahead from current fitness trackers like the Gear Fit, which requires users to turn on its heart-rate monitor. Microsoft's device will track continuous heart rate over the course of a person's day, sources say.  The watch will look similar to the Samsung Gear Fit and feature a full-color touch screen about the size of half a stick of gum, positioned on the inside of the wearer's wrist. The unorthodox screen-placing appears to be aimed at making it easier and more private to view notifications.

A cross-platform smartwatch would represent another bold move by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to create a product that works across other rival platforms, not just Windows. His first public unveiling of a product in April was of a suite of Microsoft Office products that worked, for the first time, on Apple's iPad.

Microsoft's software and services need to be available on "all devices," Nadella also said at a conference earlier this week. "It's time for us to build the next big thing."

Read More @ http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/05/29/exclusive-a-microsoft-smartwatch-is-coming/


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