Microsoft Looking to Join the Smart Watch Race

suunto_n3_spot_watchWith rumors of an Apple smart watch ramping up over the past few months, a number of other companies have also reportedly been working on their own projects involving watches and other wearable devices. Last month, both Samsung and Google were reported to be working on their own projects, and now The Wall Street Journal indicates that Microsoft is also exploring the possibility of a smart watch.

Earlier this year, Microsoft asked suppliers in Asia to ship components for a potential watch-style device, the executives said. One executive said he met with Microsoft's research and development team at the software company's Redmond, Wash., headquarters. But it's unclear whether Microsoft will opt to move ahead with the watch, they said. [...]

For its potential new watch prototype, Microsoft has requested 1.5-inch displays from component makers, said an executive at a component supplier.

The report notes that this is not Microsoft's first foray into smart watch technology, with the company having launched its Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) platform in 2004 through partnerships with watch companies such as Fossil and Suunto.

Those watches, which received data through Microsoft's MSN Direct FM radio-based service, were discontinued by 2008, but the idea of smart watches is experiencing a rebirth as companies look to make the experience of today's mobile devices even more "personal".

(Image: Suunto's n3 smart watch from 2004, based on Microsoft's SPOT technology)

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Top Rated Comments

Peace Avatar
145 months ago
Sad that the state of tech companies are now in a race to make a watch.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MetalGearTW Avatar
145 months ago
Blue screen of death.

Anytime.

Anywhere.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Comeagain? Avatar
145 months ago
Will it tell time?

Only with the Ultimate version.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
komodrone Avatar
145 months ago
Windows 9
Run your desktop apps on your PC/Tablet AND your watch!
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Greg. Avatar
145 months ago
Finally, BSOD's available on your nearby wrist.

Blue screen of death.

Anytime.

Anywhere.

I hope that it doesn't run Windows! So now you will get to enjoy useless blue screen errors on your watch too, more crap that I'll have to support. Microsoft is really lacking on innovation these days, they need to get rid of all the old people they have running operations and get some younger folks with different ideas in there.

-Mike

Serious why do Apple fans have this obsession with the blue screen of death? I haven't encountered one on Windows for years.

On topic, I just can't see any of these smart watches really being any more than a niche market.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jtrenda33 Avatar
145 months ago
I haven't worn a watch since 2002.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)