… and now comes Microsoft.
Paul Thurrott’s Supersite, long a gold-standard source for Microsoft software news, is picking up vibrations that Microsoft will launch a fitness band late this year. The differentiator: it will work with all platforms: iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Actually, the “big” news here is Windows Phone — not many other fitness trackers work with Windows Phone, which is a distant third in the market.
The target, Thurrott says, is the Samsung Gear, in both function and pricing.
In some ways, this is back to the future for Microsoft. The first wristware technology that we remember was the 1994 Microsoft/Timex DataLink watch, which would let you carry you datebook on your wrist. (We may even have one in a box someplace around here,) You’d enter your calendar info a desktop application, and DataLink software would show a series of encoded light bars on your monitor — kind of a bar code. A visual sensor on the watch would scan the light bars and read the information into the watch. It was a little freaky, but the watch didn’t look very different from any other full-function digital watch of the era and it actually worked pretty well. Here’s an ad that shows how it worked:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3Pzxmq-JLM]
No feature list, no ship date, no pricing. Just rumor.