Microsoft reportedly has plans to release its first wearable this fall, a wrist worn fitness tracker and smart band by most reports. According to a report by the historically accurate insider Paul Thurrott, the Microsoft fitness band will be priced similarly to Samsung’s Gear Fit ($199), as well as fall in line with a similar design of other fitness trackers such as Gear Fit.
Microsoft does plan to differentiate itself in one way from some of its competitors: the tech giant plans on making the fitness band work with all phones and platforms, not just the device maker’s smartphone. The implementation of an open platform for wearables has only been tested in startups like Fitbit or Jawbone, but for Microsoft to adopt such a platform marks a strong departure from companies like Samsung which has required its Gear be used with a Samsung phone. This would then allow Microsoft’s un-named fitness tracker to work on Android, iOS, and Windows, creating a wide variety of potential users to pick up and go with Microsoft.
According to a set of recently released patent applications, the device will function similarly to other fitness bands, with interface control that lets the user track runs, navigate, as well as send preset text messages and receive notifications. Additionally, the patent includes a vertical charging dock for the wristband, giving users a more comprehensive experience with their wristband. Lastly, for branding, Thurrott speculates that Microsoft could go with Nokia and its Lumia devices, or Microsoft’s own Surface, but there isn’t any more information that is more reliable than speculation.
The device is set to be released in the Fall of this year. For further information, check out the full reveal on Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows.