We’re were wowed by the Samsung Gear family and we’re excited about Android Wear, but now we’re itching to find out what Microsoft may be cooking up.
Google has already announced its Android Wear-powered smart wearables platform – and a range of tempting smartwatches to match. Hot on Google’s tail is Microsoft, with an upcoming (and unconfirmed) device that could prove to be stiff competition to Google’s offerings.
The unnamed device looks set to land in October, and eschew the square and circular form-factor of the upcoming LG, Motorola and Samsung devices. Instead, it opts for something more reminiscent of the Nike+ FuelBand or the Samsung Gear Fit, which are long, thin and rectangular.
The device also has its main display located on the inside of the wrist, rather than the outside. According to Tom’s Hardware, which broke news of the device, it feels ‘quite natural’ to turn to your palm to see the screen.
The ace up its sleeve looks to be compatibility, with support rumoured for a variety of platforms including iOS and Android alongside Windows Phone devices. In its current state, Android Wear is significantly more limited, and only works with smartphones running Android 4.3 and above.
In a move designed to appeal to developers, the Microsoft smartwatch will also allegedly support a number of open APIs. These are the tools used by software developers to extend and enhance a product or platform, and are essential for Microsoft to create a healthy, flourishing app ecosystem.
The device is also said to come with 11 individual sensors. Details are thin on the ground about these, although it’s safe to assume there will be the usual array of accelerometers, compasses and ambient light sensors. The hardware behind them will be created by a variety of manufacturers, including Texas Instruments and Amtel.
Would you rather pick up a smartwatch that offers features designed for your smartphone like an Android Wear device, or a one-size-fits all smartwatch that will work across all manner of devices and operating systems?