Microsoft to launch fitness-focused smartwatch ‘within weeks’

Microsoft smartwatch
Microsoft is reportedly ready to launch a fitness-focused smartwatch in the coming weeks.

More than a year after reports suggested the computer firm was gathering components for a wrist-based wearable, Microsoft is finally ready to pull the wraps off its device, Forbes said Sunday.

There’s been quite a bit of talk already pointing to some kind of smartwatch from Microsoft, though it looks as if its offering will be geared more toward fitness enthusiasts looking to track their daily physical routines, measuring things like steps taken and calories burned. A report back in June also suggested the device will incorporate 11 different sensors measuring various vital signs including heart rate, with data relayed via its 1.5-inch display.

According to Forbes, the new wearable will be compatible with not only Windows Phone devices, but Android and iOS handsets too – an understandable move considering Windows Phone’s relatively small share of the smartphone market. Also notable is the smartwatch’s battery, which should be able to go for two days before it needs charging – that’s twice what most color-display smartwatches on the market currently offer.

There’s no information yet on what Microsoft is calling its device, or how much it’s going to cost, but we’ll be back with the details as soon as they become available.

Although the new device will be the company’s first wearable offering since Satya Nadella took the company reins at the start of the year, Microsoft has tried before with such tech. Some of you will recall the SPOT – short for Smart Personal Object Technology – a 2004 smartwatch that for some technophiles was apparently “revolutionary, smart and sexy.” Slow sales, however, saw the watch ditched four years after launch.

Let’s hope Microsoft fares better with its next effort, in the process helping to push the wearables space – which is forecast to be worth as much as $7 billion next year – toward greater developments as more companies enter the market.

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