According to a report, Microsoft is nearing the launch of its own fitness-minded smartwatch—but in a surprising twist, the device will be compatible with smartphones that aren’t its own.
The Forbes story claims that the wearable device will not only sync with Windows Phone models, but also iOS and Android handsets. That comes in stark contrast to Samsung’s Gear line, in particular, which works solely with the manufacturer’s own phones.
Microsoft’s smartwatch is expected to monitor your heart rate all day long automatically using optical engineering know-how from the company’s Kinect team, but still offer about two days of battery life on a single charge.
The device will feature a color touch screen and be similar in design to the Samsung Gear Fit, and is suggested to be worn on the inside of your wrist, allowing easier access and more private reading for notifications pushed from your phone.
Earlier this month, a 2012 patent from Microsoft was uncovered that depicted a Surface Smartwatch (depicted above): a fitness-focused wearable that allowed the main component to be removed from the wristband and placed into a dock or other fitness equipment.
Whether that’s all made it into the actual product is unclear, but if Forbes’ report proves correct, we may be hearing about it very soon as a release later this year is possible. With Apple’s long-rumoured iWatch seemingly on the horizon and Samsung’s latest Simband initiative, however, the market is about to become rather crowded with major options.