Microsoft to launch Gear Fit-like wristband for all platforms instead of watch later this year
Microsoft will tackle the wearables market this Christmas, with a Samsung Gear Fit-like wristband, it's claimed.
WinSuperSite's Paul Thurrott has claimed Microsoft is not developing a smartwatch but rather a wristband. The device will monitor your fitness - such as steps and heart rate - using multiple sensors. It'll also display notifications piped from your smartphone. Thurrott said Microsoft's wearable would work with "everything" and not just Windows Phones, something other reports have also mentioned in recent months.
Rumours first claimed earlier this year that Microsoft was developing a smartwatch jam-packed with sensors that could measure your heart rate and sync with rival smartphones. It was expected to come from the Xbox Kinect division and draw upon the "optical engineering expertise" of that division in order to do things like continuously measure your heart rate for two days on a single charge. Unlike the Gear Fit, the heart-rate monitor was expected to be an always-on feature.
That said, Microsoft's fitness band will be very similar to the Gear Fit. It will allegedly look like Samsung's device, for instance, though Forbes claimed in May that Microsoft's device would uniquely feature a touchscreen positioned on the inside of the wearer’s wrist. The odd display placement would give users the ability to privately view their smartphone-based notifications.
Originally expected to launch in the summer, Thurrott said Microsoft will in fact announce and release its wristband in the fourth quarter of 2014. It should cost the same as the Samsung Gear. No word yet on what it will be called. Surface wrist, maybe?