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Microsoft smartwatch to rival Samsung Gear Fit with 'always-on' heart rate sensor

Will also reportedly work across iOS, Android and Windows Phone
Fri May 30 2014, 10:17
Samsung Gear Fit review - pedometer

MICROSOFT REPORTEDLY will be the next firm to enter the growing wearables market, with speculation claiming that its unannounced smartwatch will be the first to work with iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices.

Forbes claims to have got the scoop on Microsoft's first smartwatch, having heard from its anonymous sources that the device will sync with iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices, and will be the first to feature an always-on heart rate monitor.

Microsoft's Kinect division reportedly has developed the sensor, which reportedly will track a user's heart rate continuously over the court of a day, unlike the Samsung Gear Fit, for example, which requires users to switch the feature on.

"The device will draw on optical engineering expertise from Microsoft's Xbox Kinect division to continuously measure heart rate through the day and night," claimed Forbes' sources.

While it will get one-up on Samsung's Gear Fit with its always on monitoring feature, it apparently will look quite similar to the fitness focused wearable, touting "a full colour touchscreen about half the size of a stick of gum". However, bizarrely, Forbes notes that the screen will be positioned on the inside of the wearers' wrist, aimed at making it easier and more private for users to view notifications.

There's no release timeframe provided for the rumoured smartwatch, but Forbes suggests it could arrive as early as this summer, with a two-day battery life. Apple's rumoured iWatch is set to debut around the same time, with a circular watchface like the Motorola 360.

Microsoft declined to comment on the speculation, with a spokesperson saying, "We have nothing to share."

However, this isn't the first we've heard about a Microsoft smartwatch, with reports earlier in May claiming that the firm has filed a patent for a "Wearable Personal Information System". This filing suggests that as well as an always-on heart rate monitor, the device will also track a user's calorie intake and other health statistics.

It is also thought the unnamed device will feature, again like the Gear Fit, a detactchable screen that can be dismounted and attached to a charging dock, while ex-Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is said to head up the project. µ

 

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