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Rumor: Xbox Team Producing Microsoft's 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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  • g-unit1111
    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?
    Reply
  • nexians
    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.
    Reply
  • Hazle
    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!
    Reply
  • DjEaZy
    ... 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...
    Reply
  • shikamaru31789
    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.
    Reply
  • ttcboy
    10680894 said:
    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 !!!!
    Reply
  • jack1982
    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.
    Reply
  • Non-Euclidean
    Awesome. I can be the first on my block to have a smartwatch whose face starts blinking red after 6 months.
    Reply
  • hotice
    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.
    Reply
  • So then I'm guessing we won't be able to view the time unless we are connected to the internet?
    Reply