New Patent Suggests that Microsoft Might Enter Smartwatch Market
It was about time the Redmond giant made its move in the wearable tech market. Google already proved that it’s aiming high with Android Wear, and an Apple smartwatch has been in talks for quite a while, so it would be great if Microsoft joined the party, as well.
Last week, Microsoft was awarded a patent that hints at the possibility of making a fitness tracking smartwatch. While it has become customary for companies to patent technologies so that others don’t get to use them without paying a hefty license fee, chances are the Redmond tech company might actually enter this market and launch a wearable before you know it.
Judging by this patent, Microsoft’s wearable will accomplish more functions than a simple smartwatch or a run-of-the-mill fitness tracker. In fact, the device would be able to handle text messaging, phone calls and music controls, which would make it anything but ordinary. The big question is whether it will run on its own these smartphone functions, or maybe it will act as a smartphone companion. I must admit, the latter option would be a bit disappointing, since most current smartwatches work like that.
The Microsoft wearable is supposed to come with a docking station that also acts as an alarm clock. Speak of covering multiple fields, eh? On top of that, the wristband’s displayed is designed to be detachable, so in theory it could be paired with other exercise equipment. I’m thinking exercise or regular bikes, treadmills and other such things.
Assuming that it will have a decent price, a device with so many functions should sell like hot cakes. The only drawback would be the operating system, since Microsoft would most probably opt for its own Windows Phone OS, which as you know, doesn’t benefit from the greatest app ecosystem in the world. A viable option would be to run some sort of an Android emulator on its WP devices. After all, that’s how a rumor sounded back in February, when some claimed that Microsoft might bring Android apps to Windows 8 and WP8. On another hand, Microsoft might take Samsung’s route and develop an entirely new OS for its wearables. Time will tell, as currently there’s no certainty that Microsoft will ever do anything with this patent.