While the iWatch at this point remains nothing more than a rumor, other companies aren't sitting by idly and watching what Apple may or may not do. Not only is Samsung on its second iteration of a smartwatch, but now comes word via Forbes that Microsoft is also planning to jump into the wearables market.
According to Parmy Olson, Microsoft is working on a wearable device that will be laden with sensors that will reportedly be able to measure a user's heart rate throught the day.
The device will draw on optical engineering expertise from Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect division to continuously measure heart rate through the day and night, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the company’s plans, while the battery will last for two days, roughly on par with Samsung’s Gear Fit.
Optical engineers from Microsoft’s Kinect division, designers and data scientists have created a software platform to go with the smartwatch that will correlate data from the device’s sensors, according to sources, giving a more accurate read on heart rate and fitness.
What's particularly interesting is that the rumored Microsoft watch won't be exclusively tied to Windows Phone devices. Indeed, it will be platform agnostic and will be compatible with iPhones and Android devices as well. If true, this is a smart move from the folks at Redmond. Windows Phone sales aren't exactly all that impressive, and tying it to a lukewarm platform might kill the product right on arrival. By making a device compatible with the most popular smartphone platforms on the planet, Microsoft will increase the odds that the product will see some semblance of success in the marketplace.