A patent application by Microsoft that has just recently surfaced due to it finally being granted shows that the company has been working on a smartwatch for around 2 years (the patent was originally filed in 2012).
Based on the diagrams and descriptions included in the patent, Microsoft’s smartwatch is being prepared to compete with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear with features to track a “biometric parameter” which could include a person’s heart rate. The image also shows that the watch could also track distance travelled.
The smartwatch could also include a touchscreen, a motion sensor, an optical sensor, a GPS unit, and an internal compass. And aside from being a fitness and health tracker, the wearable device could also function as a music player, a phone, and a messaging device.
The images also show that Microsoft’s “Wearable Personal Information System” will look like a typical smartwatch similar to the Galaxy Gear and LG’s upcoming G Watch although the Microsoft smartwatch’s computing device itself could be removable from the band to enable it to attach to other devices or equipment. The device also seems to have both an electrical connector as well as a data connector.
There’s also a dock detailed in the patent that the Microsoft smartwatch can attach to for charging, akin to the Galaxy Gear, or possibly to transfer data as well.
As for software, it is most likely that Microsoft will be leveraging their Internet of Things version of the company’s Windows operating system specifically design for devices like smartwatches. The special operating system was initially revealed by the company at their Build conference last month. It is also likely that the company will make use of their Bing service as well as their recently announced Cortana virtual personal assistant.
While all this information is mostly speculative and there’s a chance that the patent will never transform into an actual product, it is expected that Microsoft will come out with its own wearable device to begin competing in the rapidly growing wearable device market.