Coming Soon: Microsoft Smartwatch?

Wall Street Journal reported that, according to supplier executives, a Microsoft smartwatch is in the works. The sources claimed that Microsoft asked its Asia-based suppliers earlier this year to ship components for a potential watch-like device. One executive even revealed about meeting with members of Microsoft’s research and development team right within its Redmond, Washington, headquarters.

According to WSJ’s source, Microsoft has requested 1.5-inch displays for its potential smartwatch prototype. Having a smartwatch in its product lineup would go well with Microsoft’s plans in expanding its homegrown hardware line. The company introduced its own tablet, the Surface, and there have been rumors of a smaller version of the tab being cooked up that would compete with the likes of iPad Mini and Kindle Fire HD.

There was no clear indication, however, on whether the Microsoft smartwatch has been given the green light. Microsoft declined to comment on the matter.

Investors and tech companies alike seem to be preparing for the potential boom in wearable, computerized devices. With news of Samsung developing its own smartwatch, as well as rumors that Apple and Google are making their own touch-enabled wrist devices, it would be exciting to see which of these big company will come on top with this new class of computing gadgets.

This category is nothing new, however. Nike has launched its FuelBand that measures amount of physical activity, while startup Pebble Technology Corp. is offering a watch that wirelessly syncs with smartphones and even alerts users to incoming phone calls, Twitter mentions, and emails. And who could forget Google Glass?

Speculations about the success of wearable smart gadgets have been encouraging, to say the least. Research firm Gartner, for instance, expects that this up-and-coming category would become a $10-billion industry by 2016.

This is not the first time a Microsoft Smartwatch is being introduced in the market. A decade ago, Microsoft launched its “Smart Watch” that provides wearers with news headlines, sports scores, and instant messages beamed over FM radio, all for a subscription fee. Sales for the Smart Watch were halted in 2008.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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