Microsoft is launching a smart watch that will help with your fitness, according to Forbes. Maybe it’s just the cheesy photo but I want to look at Microsoft and give them a friendly tilt of my head, a warm moment’s crinkling of my nose. Microsoft is a gigantic, astonishingly gigantic corporation yet it acts like a little kid, “we can do that, we can do it too, in fact we did it first, yeah, no comebacks, to infinity”.
Apple tends to roll up late to a category of product and then just totally change how everybody ever makes that stuff again. (Look at mobile phones before the iPhone and then look at mobile phones after it. It’s equal parts impressive, laughable and a bit depressing how you can spot a massive seachange and pin it down to the single hour when Steve Jobs unveiled that iPhone.)
Whereas Microsoft, not so much. I didn’t know that Microsoft would bring out a smart watch but I should’ve bet. I did read the top of the Forbes article and know this much for certain, for absolute certain: whether it was a leaked report or a formal Microsoft press release, it would still end with information that the company isn’t saying when it will be released or what it will cost. And to think I wasn’t impressed that Apple said “early 2015” for its watch. At least they gave a starting price.
Here’s Forbes, doing its thing:
Microsoft MSFT +2.08% is gearing up to launch a wearable device within the next few weeks, Forbes has learned. The gadget is a smart watch that will passively track a wearer’s heart rate and work across different mobile platforms. It will also boast a battery life of more than two days of regular use, sources close to the project say.
That could put it ahead of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smart watch and Moto 360 which both need to be charged around once a day. The wearable will hit stores soon after launch in a bid to capture the lucrative holiday season, a timeline Apple AAPL +1.46% was reportedly targeting before it delayed its own Watch to early 2015.
Forbes first reported in May that Microsoft was working on a smart watch that drew on optical engineering expertise from its Kinect division, and which would sync with iPhones, Android devices and Windows Phones. It is unclear what Microsoft will name the device, or what it will cost at retail
Microsoft Plans To Launch A Wearable Device Within Weeks – Parmy Olson, Forbes (10 October 2014)
Read the full piece.
It does look very nice.
I’ve spent the last seven days with Motorola’s smartwatch strapped to my wrist, recharging it every night at around 10PM and re-equipping it immediately upon crawling out of bed. I’ve had it synced with my HTC One (M8) the entire time.
My experience over the past week has taught me a lot about the future of smartwatches, the importance of intuitive software on a tiny device, and all the ways Apple could make just about every other smartwatch — including my new Moto 360 — look like a joke
What a week with the Moto 360 taught me about the Apple Watch – Mike Wehner, TUAW (14 October 2014)
Read the full piece.
Pray you don’t get one of these for Christmas. I know you won’t buy it for yourself, but imagine someone giving it to you on Christmas Day and noticing that you stopped wearing it by Valentines. Because the Apple Watch is out. Now, that’s not to even pretend that the Apple Watch will be unbeatable, but it is being generous saying you could still be wearing Will.i.am’s new smartwatch by February.
I say smartwatch. Apparently he or some people are calling it a cuff. Okay. Looks like a black plastic version of the teleport bracelets from Blake’s 7 to me.
A site called The Next Web got that image and says:
When you think wearables, you don’t usually think international superstar or Salesforce. Push aside that old way of thinking aside because Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am just unveiled his Puls smartwatch at the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco.
Pronounced “pulse,” the smartwatch is voice controlled via a Siri-like feature called Aneeda (get it? Aneeda. I need a…). It ships with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter (called Twitrist. get it? Twit wrist. Puns!), and Salesforce. It also has the expected photo, email, contacts, call, texting, calculator, music and fitness functions.
Will.i.am Introduces the Puls Smartwatch – no author named, The Next Web (16 October 2014)
Read the full piece for much more detail and much more photography. There are a couple of shots where you’ll think actually, that’s not bad. But then there are some where you’ll need drink a couple of shots before you think that.
It still looks big to me and I think it’s hampered by its Android OS but this was the first smart watch design that made me go ooh and it’s now the first shipping smart watch that I fancy:
Short answer, probably no.
LG is soon to unveil a smartwatch and it will be round. That is surprisingly alluring to me, except of course that we’ve seen squared-off watches and we’ve seen bricks around people’s wrists so maybe it’s not surprising.
But what this teaser doesn’t do – well, it doesn’t show you much of the watch at all really, but what else it doesn’t do is acknowledge you’re not going to buy one when you think Apple is about to release a smartwatch.
I’ve no idea if or when Apple will but all the signs point to it and those signs are enough to make me pause before dropping hundreds of pounds (or whatever LG charges) on something else. I do like Apple design so I expect any watch that company does to be deeply thought out and genuinely useful. Probably also expensive. But I’d rather spend a lot of cash on something good than a little less cash on something that isn’t.
But I’ll be looking to see what LG does with this.