Another day, another smartwatch rumor. In the wake of Sony’s Smartwatch 2 announcement and the continual stream of reports regarding Apple’s iWatch, it seems that Microsoft is getting in on the act too. The Verge reports today that Microsoft’s own smartwatch device has been relocated from the Xbox division to that of the tablet team. If Microsoft does, indeed, enter the market with a new wrist-mounted device, we’ll have a Surface Smartwatch on our hands.
You know what I mean.
The post reports that the Surface Smartwatch—or whatever they wind up calling it—could include a heart rate monitor, differently colored and removable wristbands, a 1.5-inch display—which the company is reportedly ordering from component manufacturers for prototypes—as well as “a modified version of Windows 8, with a focus on integrating the device with other Windows-powered devices.”
As the post points out, last week CEO Steve Ballmer announced a massive internal reorganization that brought all of the company’s hardware divisions under one umbrella. As such, the shift from the Xbox team to the Surface team shouldn’t represent too much of a jump in terms of the kind of attention it’s getting. In addition, the Xbox One seems to be moving toward a much more Windows 8-like user-interface. If these reports are true, the Surface Smartwatch could possibly act as a small hub for all your Windows devices. That’s a lot more interesting to me as a Windows PC user (and as an Xbox gamer) than a smartwatch that’ll just connect with my phone or tablet. In this regard alone, the Surface Smartwatch has my attention.
If these rumors prove to be true, it would also point to a certain amount of confidence in the Surface device line. Microsoft has stumbled a bit this year with regard to its hardware despite nearly a decade of dominance with the Xbox 360. Its Xbox One unveiling in May was met with confusion, followed by derision. And while the Surface tablet was impressive from a lot of perspectives, it’s impossible to say that it’s proven itself as a success. Now that Microsoft dropped the price of its Surface RT, it’s possible that the device will find an audience that could justify the existence of a smartwatch as well.
Hopefully the company will make sure to pack in functionality to help it sync up all your Windows devices. Maybe then I’ll truly understand the appeal of the smartwatch.