Microsoft Smartband Coming in October with 11 Sensors, Open APIs, and Cross-platform Compatibility

This week has been all about the smartwatch. Google officially launched two of them at Google I/O and released the Android Wear SDK to developers. Not long after, someone with knowledge of Asus' plans let slip the fact that Asus has its own watch in the works and that it would be out in September. Now we're hearing a few more details about Microsoft's smartwatch plans from one of our own sources.

Last month, Forbes wrote that Microsoft was preparing a cross-platform smartwatch with the ability to continuously track your heart rate and sync the data to your devices. A trusted source with knowledge of the development has verified some of that information and provided us with additional details about the device. For a start, this source confirmed previous rumors that the device is cross-platform compatible. Our source also confirmed that the display is on the inside of the wrist as opposed to the outside and says turning your palm up to look at the watch actually feels a lot more natural.

As far as form factor is concerned, Microsoft’s watch apparently eschews the increasingly popular chunky appearance we're seeing with current smartwatches like the Gear, the G Watch, and the Toq. Instead, Microsoft has gone with a slim band design that is said to resemble a thinner, flatter version of the Nike Fuelband (pictured above). Details about the hardware are scant, though our source did tell us that there are 11 sensors under the hood and a mix of chips including some from TI and Atmel.

As mentioned before, this device will be cross-platform compatible. Our source also told us there would be open APIs and that the interface is pretty "slick." We’re working on getting more information, so we’ll update if we hear anything more about the OS.

Finally, the release for this device is apparently set for October, which is a bit later than the summertime launch that previous reports said might be possible.

We reached out to Microsoft for verification of these new details, and a Microsoft spokesperson told us, "Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation." Not very surprising, considering the company hasn't commented on any smartwatch rumors to date.

Follow Jane McEntegart @JaneMcEntegart. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Create a new thread in the Smartwatches forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
16 comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • jimmysmitty
    Interesting design choice. I think the cross platform compatibility and open API will allow it to do better than others that tend to stick to their preferred platform.

    Now for all the Microsoft hate to come flowing in.
    6
  • southernshark
    All comes down to price. If I can get one for 120 or less I'll buy. But I'm not paying 200 for a watch.
    3
  • falchard
    Honestly, I think only Microsoft has what it takes UI wise to make something like a smart watch usable.
    5