Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) will release this fall a wearable fitness band that will display smartphone notifications, according to a report from SuperSite for Windows.
The report, from noted Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott, cited unnamed sources and said that the device will be more like Samsung Electronics' Gear Fit fitness band than a smart watch like LG Electronics' G Watch.
According to the report, the device will work with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhones, Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android phones and Microsoft's own Windows Phones. That detail corroborates what Forbes reported in May about a forthcoming Microsoft wearable device.
A Microsoft spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The focus of the device will be on using multiple sensors to track fitness metrics such as steps, calories burned, heart rate and other similar measures. The device will work with Microsoft's own fitness and health apps like Bing Health as well as third-party applications.
The report said the pricing will be the same as the Samsung Gear fit, which retails for $150, and will be announced and sold in the fourth quarter. It's unclear what the branding of the device will be.
If the device does indeed work with multiple smartphone platforms, it would be a break from the existing wearables paradigm. Samsung's smart watches only work with Samsung phones, and Google's Android Wear devices will only work with Android devices. If and when Apple releases a smart watch or wearable, presumably it will only work with iOS devices. Such a move by Microsoft could potentially broaden the reach and appeal of any wearable it produces.
Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) much-rumored smart watch is expected to be released in the fourth quarter and will be highly tied to health monitoring, according to a June New York Times report. Apple has declined to comment on the watch project.
Apple last month introduced HealthKit, a new software suite that lets developers access health data from a variety of applications to create a single health profile. Apple also announced a standalone, user-facing app called "Health" as part of its iOS 8 software update that can monitor a variety of health-related metrics from different apps in a single dashboard.
- see this SuperSite for Windows post
- see this CNET article
- see this The Verge article
Report: Apple's iWatch expected in Q4 with a focus on health monitoring
Rumor Mill: Microsoft smart watch will work with iOS, Android and Windows Phone
Samsung files patent for wearable device controlled by wrist gestures
Samsung to release high-end Tizen phone
Google, Samsung compete for smart watch developers
Google unveils Android Wear software for smart watches, other wearables