The battle for time: Microsoft reported to be preparing smart watch

Bill Gates, Consumer Electronics Show

The latest reports from Redmond are that the software firm, come newly found hardware company, is likely to begin developing a competitor to Apple’s iWatch before Apple even releases the device. Just as Microsoft launch their Surface Pro and Surface tablet to fight of the iPad, now so the company is going to try and tackle Apple at creating a ‘suitable’ smart watch for everyday use.

In a report by sources the Surface development team have now also taken over development of Microsoft’s newest project, a smart watch. Microsoft’s smart watch is intended to be following a similar design to that of the XBOX One as designers from the next gen team previously had merged into the department. In a report by The Verge the company is apparently working on a smart watch with a 1.5 inch display and has requested parts from suppliers. The XBOX design team supposedly began working on the project as a heart rate monitor for gamers.

Microsoft is expected to launch a range of devices in varying colours, following their vibrant line up of Windows Phones. Microsoft won’t go half hearted with this launch, the watch is whispered to be made out of translucent Oxynitride Aluminium – three times harder than glass.

Currently the fascination regarding wearable technology is growing as Apple’s iWatch grows closer to final development. Apple has shown an exceeding interest in the market and Microsoft has obviously taken note. Nevertheless Apple’s iWatch is reportedly going to be ready for release until fall next year and this gives Microsoft time. Samsung, Sony and LG have also shown exceeding interest in the project and it is likely we will see a final dash to the finish line for a first release. Microsoft has used the Surface as their method for carrying forward their new Metro design ethos that is working its way through their entire product line up. The Surface Pro and RT haven’t sold as expected but this hasn’t phased Microsoft who are now looking to use their lackluster performance as a drive to push forward new innovation. Their Surface tablets have had prices slashed as an upcoming update is about to hopefully change the OS’ course.

But would you really buy any smart watch?

iwatch_def1

The fact is we wear watches, currently, to tell the time. Final. Some use them as a fashion icon, a symbol – but that is about it. Despite all the gadgets that may be built in and compasses etc, there is no current smart watch that is truly smart. Designers, developers and manufacturers. There a few devices already available, the Pebble watch is one of the more popular. However these devices are limited to be within reach of your smartphone -tethered via bluetooth and are a constant drain. Some may have found first purchasing such as watch an exciting prospect but through extensive internet research it has appeared that the shine may have worn off. A device that is required to connect to a phone is useless, especially when are mobiles are with us 99.99% of the time – you may as well pull it out and read a text. Designers will overcome this issue, but its then how we use these devices and differentiate between phones and smart watches.

Smart watches could lead to an internet addicted and 24/7 connection to social media and networking. That is the problem. A watch is with you everywhere. Smart watches are a distraction. Constantly beeping and it would be up to users to decide if they could deal with this. Most of us regularly silence our phones or disable all notifications – would a smart watch just become a lead weight?

At the end of the day it is the way technology is heading. We always want to be connected. All the time. But it will mean that at some point we have to compensate or compromise. A smart watch would be useful for calendar notifications, news and general updates but it would become nuisance and tiresome. Microsoft will have to fight the the fight and insure that they stand out. Putting fan boy opinions aside would you be interested in a buying a smart watch?

UPDATE: Sources also reveal that the team behind the Surface tablet would be working on the device.

Source: The Verge

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