updated 07:58 am EDT, Fri May 30, 2014
Kinect engineers rumored working on persistent heart rate monitoring in Microsoft smart watch
Microsoft is still working on its rumored smartwatch, according to multiple sources of Forbes. The device, which will apparently offer heart rate monitoring similar to the Samsung Gear Fit, is said to be a device that will offer cross-platform compatibility, working with iPhones and Android devices as well as Microsoft's own Windows Phone operating system.
Engineers from the same team behind the Xbox Kinect are said to have contributed to the wearable, with the heart rate being monitored throughout the day, rather than whenever the user requests a reading, and a battery life of up to two days. A software platform for the watch has also reportedly been created, similar to Samsung's Simband and SAMI platform, which will consolidate data from various sensors in one place. The watch may end up being a more developed version of the Joule heart-rate monitor Microsoft tested in 2012, one that would have worked across multiple Kinect games, tracking progress and recording the wearer's health.
When asked about the rumor, a Microsoft spokesperson told the report "We have nothing to share." Forbes suggests that, though a launch date is unknown, it could ship as soon as this summer.
Microsoft has previously worked on smartwatch technology that did make its way to market, though in a limited fashion. SPOT (Smart Personal Object Technology) smartwatches allowed for MSN messages, news updates, weather reports, and other similar notifications to be displayed on a watch, without requiring the use of a smartphone for connectivity, though Microsoft axed the project in 2008. The standalone aspect of SPOT may resurface in Microsoft's next attempt at a smart watch, with a rumor last year suggesting a prototype had 6GB of storage, ran a modified version of Windows 8, and used its own 4G LTE connection.