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Microsoft files patent revealing smartwatch plans

by Mark Tyson on 8 May 2014, 12:45

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), PC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacd55

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A patent application for a Microsoft smartwatch, filed in 2012, has surfaced along with details regarding Redmond's potentially upcoming wearable device. The MS smartwatch appears to be focusing on fitness and health, rivalling Samsung's Gear Fit, the Pebble smartwatch and possibly even the rumoured Apple iWatch. With last year's rumours suggesting that Microsoft's Surface team was working on a prototype smartwatch, details in the patent application give us a better idea of how it might look.

The patent outlines that the smartwatch would also double as a fitness tracker whilst featuring music playback, phone and messaging functionality. The photos show that the watch face is designed to be "releaseably secured" and detach from the wristband. "This enables the user to conveniently remove the frame and band from the information device after exercise to wash the frame and band and to store the information device, band attached or not, in a dock which can facilitate charging and possibly data transfer while the information device is not in use," the patent reads. The design will also allow the device be docked in exercise machines and equipment, becoming a personal fitness recorder.

 

Focusing on fitness, the gadget will include an optical light sensor on the bottom of the watch, making contact with the user's skin in order to measure various exercise-related metrics such as heart rate. It is also suggested that the watch will feature GPS which will allowing tracking of the user's position and route.

Microsoft may not make use of these patented ideas but it does suggest that the company is considering entering the market again following the release of the SPOT (Smart Personal Object Technology) smartwatch back in 2004.

Google's latest Android Wear OS was announced not long ago on devices such as Motorola's Moto 360 and the LG G Watch. A range of other Android powered smartwatches is also expected to hit shelves this summer. With major tech giants rapidly bringing out their own wearable devices, Microsoft has a long way to catch up in the midst of the competition. We hope to see more solid information about this smartwatch soon. Perhaps it will even feature at the small gathering Surface press event on the 20th of this month…



HEXUS Forums :: 3 Comments

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Come on guys. A patent application is not “details regarding Redmond's potentially upcoming wearable device”. It's a pre-emptive ‘covering our backs and generating a revenue stream’ process done thousands of times a year by tech companies. Sure maybe MS is working on something like this, but a single patent application is not “Details” of anything!
Actually, that'scexactly what a patent is. It's the details of an innovative process, machine, plant, etc, and absolutely has to contain details, including drawings where necessary. But it is details of that process, jachine, plant, etc, not details of a marketable product. In this example, pages of description and over a dozen drawings, illustrations, etc.

I agree it's pre-emptive, though. By definition that's what a patent is. It's a process by which the IP rights to an “invention” are reserved, giving the rights holder the legal right to preclude, or control, others ability to produce products based on that invention. The whole point of a patent is that it's pre-emptive. It has to be, because it has to be novel, original and, essentially, not published anywhere before.
Jenny_Y8S
Come on guys. A patent application is not “details regarding Redmond's potentially upcoming wearable device”. It's a pre-emptive ‘covering our backs and generating a revenue stream’ process done thousands of times a year by tech companies. Sure maybe MS is working on something like this, but a single patent application is not “Details” of anything!

You know they kind of did the first connected smart watch right? Was it 10 years ago? I can't really remember, I don't think SPOT ever took off.

If you follow the development stuff from MS it's clear they are moving towards a real IOT world, the fact they've now axed windows licenses for most low end devices to help enable this. They've got some really cool stuff with Azure, there was even this puff piece which shows how things are moving to be more connected on a ‘single querably platform’ this isn't even ‘big data’ or any such buzz word. This is quite practical stuff that is cheap and working today.

http://www.fastcolabs.com/3030367/the-london-underground-has-its-own-internet-of-things

The fact is this watch filling was probably done by the same skunksworks team that has been working on some of the more consumer adaptations of this technology. MS are sitting on some really cool stuff, that is starting to take off with the large organisations. How do they get that transitioned so average consumers can understand. I don't want to say next year will be the year of IoT, but myself, this year all my lights, doors, windows, radiators will be.