Microsoft won’t be looking at the smart watch market for too long, with rumors suggesting they’ll be joining-in later this year. The latest information, coming from Tom’s Hardware, suggests the Redmond giant will launch its smart watch in October, featuring 11 different sensors to monitor user’s activities and health. Tracking of steps taken, distance traveled and calories burned will also be possible with the forthcoming “Surface watch.” Also, it could pack a heart rate sensor.
In addition, Microsoft will make sure its watch supports multiple platforms, not just Windows Phone, and feature a display on the underside of the band. The report goes on to suggest this device will look more like an activity tracker — think Samsung Gear Fit — rather than smart watch.
The interface is said to be “slick” and there will also be an SDK, using which developers will be able to make their apps run on one’s wrist.
Like any other tech company, Microsoft wants to secure some patents for its products. Recently, the WMpoweruser website has caught two filings by the Redmond giant.
One Microsoft patent shows how built-in sensors would be used to automatically identify what user is doing and adapt the information presented in the UI accordingly.One of them, used for “Discreetly Displaying Contextually Relevant Information on a display device” describes how smart watch could show notifications and GPS navigation beamed from a smartphone.
Another patent describes “Dynamic User Interfaces Adapted to Inferred User Contexts,” explaining how Microsoft would use built-in sensors to automatically identify what user is doing at any given time, and adapt the information presented in the UI accordingly.
It’s only obvious that Microsoft won’t be the only company with this sort of technology and it remains to be seen whether it can charge license fees to other smart watch makers which won’t necessarily use its platform. They managed to get licensing fees from many Android OEMs and at one point even make more money from Android than Windows Phone.
Presuming Microsoft enters the smart watch market, it will face competition from the likes of Google, Samsung, Pebble and even Apple, which has been rumored to work on the iWatch for quite some time now.
Google on its end has recently launched its Android Wear platform that is already adopted by some of the world’s largest handset makers. One of them, Samsung, also has its own Tizen platform that powers-up the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. Finally, there’s Pebble, which literally kickstarted the entire market with its 2012 crowdfunding campaign.