Last week brought reports that Chinese search giant Baidu is working on a clone of Google Glass. The news stemmed from an April Fools' joke that "spun out of control," but a rep from the company said there is a hint of truth behind the joke, that internal testing is in progress to produce something similar to Glass.
Now there is a rumor that Microsoft is doing the same, only the Redmond company is expected to produce a working product in 2014. The rumor stems from analyst Brian White, who informed investors of his theory about Microsoft's Internet-connected specs on Thursday.
Unfortunately, he didn't provide any extra specifics. But Microsoft's entry into the wearable tech realm really isn't all that far-fetched, and it wouldn't be surprising if the company actually introduces a prototype during BUILD 2013 or E3 2013 this June. A Windows 8-based set of specs that connect to a Windows-based tablet, smartphone and/or PC? You bet. Console connectivity is even likely.
"It appears to us that Google has made significant breakthroughs around software applications as it relates to this new product," he said. "As such, we believe this initiative will kick off a major push into the field of wearable electronics and therefore will be closely scrutinized."
Apple is reportedly taking a different avenue by developing the much-rumored iOS-powered iWatch. White also said that Apple is working on the iRing, which will interact with the upcoming iTV slated for a late 4Q13 release. This ring, acting as a navigation pointer, will help enhance motion detection and allow users to control the television set using hand gestures. The iWatch will supposedly interact with iTV as well.
Last month, Samsung confirmed that it, too, is working on a Smart Watch. "We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long," said Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business, in an interview with Bloomberg. "We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them."
Marshal Cohen, an analyst at NPD Group, later said that the race is on to redesign the mobile phone into something that you wear. "We’re going to see formidable competition coming from many different directions -- from device makers, accessory makers, even fashion designers," he said.
As for Microsoft, the company will likely not arrive late in the game as it did in the tablet and smartphone sectors. Developing wearable tech should actually be a given seeing that its two major competitors are busily working on gadgets. We suspect that Kinect and the Xbox brand will somehow be involved.