The Xbox team at Microsoft is reportedly working an a smartwatch that uses a connector like the Surface to charge and transfer data.
The Verge reports that Microsoft’s rumored smartwatch is in fact a product of the Xbox team, which may mean the device will communicate with the company’s home video game consoles. Early plans in the Xbox team included a “Joule” heart rate monitor accessory, but the team has since moved on to a fully fledged smartwatch.
The Xbox smartwatch is allegedly in the prototype phase at the moment with member of teams that worked on the Kinect and other Xbox accessories working on it. Rumored current designs use detachable bands that connect to a 1.5-inch screen, the same screens that started the most recent rumors.
On of the prototypes reportedly uses a magnetic connector similar to the Microsoft Surface. The connector can both charge the device and transfer data. The Pebble smartwatch also uses a magnetic connector to charge, as it saves space and means there’s no open ports on the watch. There’s a chance Microsoft won’t use the connector on the Xbox smartwatch, however.
There aren’t any other details about the rumored Microsoft smartwatch. Such a watch would presumably sync to the Xbox (either the current Xbox 360 or next-generation Xbox Durango), Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Microsoft may also choose to let the watch connect to iOS and Android devices.
Xbox SmartGlass showed that Microsoft has no problem with bringing some of its interesting features to other platforms.
Other companies include Apple, Google, Samsung and LG are also reportedly working on smartwatches. If every rumor is true a flood of smartwatches will reach the market later this year or next. Microsoft was the first to the smartwatch race, however.
The company introduced its SPOT brand in 2004 which used FM radio signals to send news, weather and stock information to smartwatches. Microsoft and its partners shut down production of SPOT watches in 2008, and shut off the service just last year.