Tuesday 16 July 2013

Microsoft allegedly testing Surface smartwatch

Looks like Microsoft’s Surface plans now include a smartwatch. The smartwatch project was previously under the Xbox accessories team, but has been recently moved over to the team behind the Surface devices.

Sources close to the plan told The Verge that the company’s original plan of a Joule heartrate monitor have been shelved and the new wrist-worn device will be more powerful and have varied functions. News of a Surface smartwatch comes after AmongTech revealed that Microsoft is requesting 1.5-inch displays from component manufacturers for developing smartwatch prototypes. The watch will come with customisable and removable wrist bands in blue, red, yellow, black, white and grey colors. The whole device will be housed in oxynitride aluminium, (at least the prototypes are), which is "translucent aluminium" that’s said to be harder than glass, but with a glassy look.

The Verge further reports that prototypes are running a modified version of the current PC OS Windows 8, so the device will be well integrated with other Windows-powered devices. One of the prototypes allegedly has 6GB of storage and LTE support, with Microsoft allegedly relying on its SkyDrive service for much of the heavy-lifting. Reportedly, notifications and music control support will be included.

What’s interesting is that this news comes on the back of a recent organisational change at Microsoft which lumped Xbox hardware and Surface hardware into a single division with Julie Larson-Green in charge of all Microsoft hardware.

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