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Rumor: Xbox Team Producing Microsoft's Smart Watch

By - Source: The Verge | B 12 comments

The Xbox team is supposedly prototyping a smart watch.

It should come as no surprise that Microsoft's supposed smart watch will be developed by the Xbox team. Just think about it: a wearable device that could enhance the upcoming console's Kinect 2.0 aspects while serving up functions already offered on Smart Glass. It could load up Skype for hands-free calling, pull up images stored on SkyDrive, and load up an Outlook app for checking email. The gadget could be an incredible Windows-based tool.

The Verge is the latest to pump the Microsoft smart watch rumor full of new info, quoting sources close to the project who supposedly confirm that the Redmond company is indeed working on a prototype. They also confirm that the wearable tech has actually been in the works for just over a year, and will not be just a companion to the upcoming Xbox Infinity console.

According to the report, the team originally started working on a "Joule" heart rate monitor accessory for the Xbox console, but decided to focus on a smart watch instead. The change of plans was probably due to Google's own Glass project which sends information straight into the wearer's field of view thanks to a small display mounted in front of their right eye. Thanks to this pair of specs, the wearable tech industry has suddenly ignited, pushing Samsung and many other big-name players to churn out competitive solutions.

Sources said the smart watch is in prototype phase, created by the teams behind the Xbox accessories and the Kinect sensor (see, Kinect support). One prototype supposedly includes a MagSafe-like magnetic 5-pin power connector – the same one used on the Surface tablets – that transmits both power and data. However given that it is a prototype, Microsoft may choose to ditch the 5-pin connector altogether.

Previously Asian supply chain executives claimed that the Redmond company requested components – such as 1.5-inch displays -- for a potential watch-style device earlier this year. Even one executive claimed to have met with Microsoft's R&D team at the Redmond headquarters.

Microsoft first attempted to enter the smart watch market back in 2004 with the introduction of its Smart Personal Object Technology (SPOT). Swatch, Tissot, Fossil and Suunto actually produced the SPOT-based watches which used FM broadcast signals to retrieve information like the local weather and more. SPOT technology relied on MSN Direct network services which cost the end-user $59 a year.


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  • 4 Hide
    g-unit1111 , April 17, 2013 9:30 PM
    Ugh... smart glasses, smart watches, why don't they just cut out the middle man and transplant e-mail and phone apps directly into our brains? Is this really necessary?
  • -2 Hide
    nexians , April 17, 2013 10:30 PM
    I wonder why people would buy this plastic crap when for this money you can get an excellent chronograph or probably a basic automatic too, which would even last longer, look better and hold some value too.
  • 3 Hide
    Hazle , April 17, 2013 11:18 PM
    if all this smart watch hoo-hah is simply a small touch screen attached to a watch strap, aside from simple mobility, what's the point? now, if the whole thing, including the strap was a touch screen all wrapped around your arm, i can see the novelty for some people, though be it lost to me. either way, i'll stick to attaching a chain to my phone and call it a smart pocket watch. shiet so hipster, yo!
  • -5 Hide
    DjEaZy , April 17, 2013 11:52 PM
    ... Remember when there were rumors of Apple's tablet before the original iPad... all manufacturers were quick release or developing a tablet before Apple... so called slate computers... and then came out the original iPad... and everybody needed to start all over again... now... it started all because of the next rumor about the iClock[?]... and that started because of iPod... now everybody are jumpy... everybody want to be first'er than apple...
  • 1 Hide
    shikamaru31789 , April 18, 2013 1:48 AM
    Sounds interesting. Speaking of the Next Xbox, the rumored SmartWatch functionality was just a part of today's Next Xbox news. According to another source, the Next Xbox was never going to be always online. He also claims that last week's report about the Xbox Mini connecting to the Next Xbox in order to provide backwards compatibility through the 720's interface wasn't true. He claims the Xbox Mini is designed as a set-top box for media streaming and casual gaming. It won't have a disc drive but can play all of the downloadable 360 Arcade and Games on Demand titles. As for Next Xbox backwards compatiblity, he claims that the Next Xbox will house the 360 SoC, and that developers may even be able to utilize the two chipsets at once to give more processing power to games (or I find it far more likely that one chipset would allow the running of background aps while gaming, as other recent sources have claimed). He says that the controller is mostly unchanged, except for an improved D-pad and improved wireless technology that allows 16% better battery life. He says most of the recent rumors about the Kinect 2.0 are true, though he specifies that it can register more users and can more accurately detect specific movements, and that it will pretty much live up to all of MS's claims about the original Kinect that they failed to deliver. Lastly, he claims that the Next Xbox's OS is Windows 8, and that indie games made for the Windows 8 Ap Store will work on the Next Xbox once controller support is added to them. Not sure how reliable this source is unfortunately, but man do I hope he knows what he's talking about, because the console he's describing sounds like it can actually stand up to the PS4, unlike the console described by some of the other recent reports.
  • 4 Hide
    ttcboy , April 18, 2013 2:35 AM
    Quote:
    Ugh... smart glasses, smart watches, why don't they just cut out the middle man and transplant e-mail and phone apps directly into our brains? Is this really necessary?


    They would if they could so that they can track ur every movement, see what u see and hear what u hear.

    Paying big bucks to get ur own privacy invaded.... Priceless !!!!
  • 2 Hide
    jack1982 , April 18, 2013 4:38 AM
    I remember when toys like this were sold at Sharper Image as novelty gifts, right next to the pocket night vision monocular and the wireless bicycle turn signal. Now it's the future of mankind lol.
  • 1 Hide
    Non-Euclidean , April 18, 2013 5:56 AM
    Awesome. I can be the first on my block to have a smartwatch whose face starts blinking red after 6 months.
  • 1 Hide
    hotice , April 18, 2013 6:27 AM
    Great, so I'll have to pay a subscription to see what the date is and it will give me a red-ring of death after the first year of use and I'll need to send it in for a replacement.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 18, 2013 6:51 AM
    So then I'm guessing we won't be able to view the time unless we are connected to the internet?
  • 0 Hide
    g-unit1111 , April 18, 2013 9:19 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Ugh... smart glasses, smart watches, why don't they just cut out the middle man and transplant e-mail and phone apps directly into our brains? Is this really necessary?


    They would if they could so that they can track ur every movement, see what u see and hear what u hear.

    Paying big bucks to get ur own privacy invaded.... Priceless !!!!


    Now all they have to do is figure out how to implant an 8MP camera and 32GB flash memory in our heads... problem solved! :lol: 

    What was that Keanu Reeves movie where he was carrying around 6GB of government secrets in his head?
  • 2 Hide
    DRosencraft , April 18, 2013 12:43 PM
    This is yet another stupid fad. Why do I need a watch that connects to the phone in my pocket to tell me there's a message on my phone in my pocket? Or to tell me there's a post on facebook or some other stupid social network? What can you do on a screen that's only 1-2 inches square? Unless this thing is gonna have a projector to display images to a reasonable size it's useless for any real web-based functionality. Pebble got famous with their Kickstarter, and everyone lost their minds chasing after a bad idea, or highly novel idea at best, that is hard to see going anywhere with all the money they're apparently dumping on it.