Reuters briefly reports that Microsoft is planning to launch a smartwatch in the next few weeks, according to “sources close to the project”.
The report also claims that Microsoft’s smartwatch will passively track the heart rate and work across different mobile plaforms.
The wearable gadget’s battery life will exceed two days of regular use, Forbes reported, citing unnamed sources close to the project. It will arrive in stores soon after being unveiled in an effort to capture the holiday season, Forbes reported.
The report does not provide any other details. There have been rumors that Microsoft is working on a smartwatch with 1.5-inch display. It is not well-known but if Microsoft does end up launching a smartwatch, it won’t be the company’s first attempt to make an entry into the smartwatch market. Microsoft had launched the Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) platform to personalize household electronics. According to Wikipedia, the SPOT technology “used MSN Direct network services, delivered across the United States and Canada based on FM radio broadcast signals in about 100 metropolitan areas.” Incidentally, smartwatches were the first SPOT-based devices that were introduced by watchmakers Fossil and Suuto in 2004. Tissot and Swatch also launched SPOT-based smartwatches, but they didn’t really take off. So Microsoft finally discontinued the service on January 1, 2012, due to reduced demand.
Microsoft’s smartwatch will compete with Apple Watch, Apple’s fitness and health tracking smartwatch, which was unveiled at the media event last month, and will go on sale in early 2015.
Since Windows Phone has a very small marketshare in mobile, it does make sense for Microsoft to offer support for different mobile platforms, and gain traction for the device, as Apple Watch will work with only iOS devices. Two-days of battery life will also be another advantage, as Apple Watch is expected to offer a day of battery life, though Apple is said to be working to improve it.