Fact or Fiction?
Speculation about a Microsoft Smartwatch – the “Surface Watch” is rife.
When it comes to laptops and PCs Microsoft is a household name. However, the company’s reputation isn’t so strong when it comes to smartphones, where it has fallen behind in the wake of competitors such as Apple.
Rumours of a Surface phone emerging in 2019 proved false. So, the Surface Watch has been added to the expectations list for 2020. There is certainly noise around a prototype in development at the moment. Apparently, making it to the testing phase.
The main concern surrounding the Microsoft Surface smartwatch is its potential cost. The leak about it having an oxynitride aluminium body means it will come at a high price. Similarly up there with the Apple Series 5 titanium options, perhaps. The removable wristband colour options are rumoured to be available in white, grey, black, yellow, blue and red.
What do we know?
Microsoft did reveal that it was working on the design for the smartwatch in early 2019. There were leaks of a 1.5 inch square display, which is a step away from the current circular display trend in the smartwatch market. The display, though, is rumoured to have a slight curve. This is to sit comfortably on the wrist, a bit like the Galaxy Gear Fit.
The prototypes run on a version of Windows 8 specifically developed for the smartwatch which promises integration with other Windows devices. The watch certainly should be able to work with other devices across multiple platforms like Android, Windows 8 phone, X Box One and Windows OS X.
One leak says the Microsoft team was working with the X Box accessories team in the development of a smartwatch, which the Surface team then took over.
It’s a given that the smartwatch will do all the things you expect from a smartwatch now; notifications for calls, texts, social media, etc. Microsoft, though, is trying to chase Apple down for the number one spot in fitness tracking tech.
There’s talk that the Surface Watch will have an abundance of sensors as it aims to compete with the Apple Watch and some Garmin multisport watches that focus on health and fitness monitoring. The sensors include a heart rate monitor, gyroscope, accelerometer and GPS. The most interesting feature is the addition of a galvanic skin response sensor that might even be able to tell what your emotions are – a huge leap in technology.
Finally, if we are to believe what we’re told, Microsoft is putting everything it has into its first-ever smartwatch offering. It has a lot to prove and a mountain to climb to catch up with the likes of Fitbit, Garmin and Apple.
The design could be the differentiator, but is that enough? It’s going to have to develop its features to perfection on the first go to make any impact. Should Microsoft stick to what it’s good at, or will it pull a winner out of the bag? We’re waiting to find out!