Microsoft to launch platform-neutral smartwatch with always-on heart rate monitor this summer?

30 May 2014, 7:23 am EDT By Alexandra Burlacu Mobile & Apps

Microsoft is may be preparing to join the wearables party as well, as the company will reportedly launch a platform-neutral smartwatch of its own this summer.

The wearables market is apparently gaining momentum and an increasing number of companies are joining the fray with their own wearable devices. Microsoft will reportedly be the next big company to join this trend, with rumors pointing to an upcoming smartwatch that will be the first to work with iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices.

The news comes from Forbes, which claims to have learned from sources that Microsoft's upcoming smartwatch will sync with iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices, and will also be the first to boast an always-on heart rate monitor.

The report further notes that Microsoft's Kinect division was behind this sensor, which will reportedly track a user's heart rate at all times. The Samsung Gear Fit, by contrast, requires users to turn on the heart rate monitor feature when needed.

"The device will draw on optical engineering expertise from Microsoft's Xbox Kinect division to continuously measure heart rate through the day and night," reveals the Forbes report.

The always-on heart rate monitor outshines the Samsung Gear Fit, but otherwise Microsoft's smartwatch will reportedly be quite similar in design to Samsung's fitness-focused gadget. According to Forbes, the smartwatch will have a "full colour touchscreen about half the size of a stick of gum."

In an intriguing twist, however, Microsoft's smartwatch will reportedly have the screen located on the inside of the wearer's wrist, aiming to allow users to check their notifications in an easier and more private manner.

While nothing is confirmed at this point, Forbes speculates that Microsoft's upcoming smartwatch could arrive as early as this summer. Apple is expected to release its much-rumored iWatch around the same time, and new rumors indicate that HTC is also getting ready to launch its own smartwatch.

With no official word from Microsoft, however, it is highly advisable to take this news with a grain of salt. If the company does indeed plan to release a platform-neutral smartwatch this summer we should hear more about it soon enough. We'll keep you up to date as soon as we learn more, so stay tuned.

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