Microsoft prepping Gear Fit-like fitness band with cross-platform functionality
Microsoft is reportedly prepping to join the wearable market with a fitness band of its own, which will reportedly work with Windows Phone, Android, and iOS.
The wearable device race is just heating up, and 2014 is expected to be a big year for the wearable market. Samsung already launched several smartwatches plus a fitness band, Google just formalized its new Android Wear OS with the LG G Watch, the Samsung Gear Live, and the upcoming Motorola Moto 360, and Apple is expected to launch a high-end iWatch later this year. Microsoft has also been rumored to be working on a smartwatch, but recent rumors have claimed that the company may in fact launch a smart fitness band instead.
New information now bolsters such claims, revealing that Microsoft's fitness band will resemble Samsung's Gear Fit, but it will also have a trick up its sleeve: offer cross-platform functionality. This means that it should work with Windows Phone, Android, and iOS, which could give it some serious leverage against rivals.
"Microsoft will this fall release a Samsung Gear Fit-like fitness band that will display smart phone-based notifications, just like the current and rumored watches and other wearables," WinSupersite reveals. "From a differentiation standpoint, Microsoft's wearable will do something that no other wearable platform does. It will work with everything and not just the device maker's smart phone platform. Where Samsung wearables only work with Samsung phones, Android Wear devices only work with modern Android devices, and Apple's rumored iWatch will obviously only work with iPhone, Microsoft will take a different approach. It will work with Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone."
The publication further notes that Microsoft's upcoming fitness band will offer similar functionality as the Samsung Gear Fit and other such devices. This means that it will use a number of sensors to track users' fitness data such as calories burned, steps walked, heart rate, and others. WinSupersite also points out that although Microsoft already makes some great apps such as Bing Health & Fitness and Healthvault, its upcoming wearable will also work with third-party apps.
In terms of pricing and availability, the publication claims that Microsoft will launch its gadget at the same price point as the Samsung Gear and will release the device in the fourth quarter of this year. It remains unclear at this point just what branding this device will sport. On the other hand, none of this is confirmed for now, so take all leaks, rumors and reports with a hefty grain of salt.