Microsoft may be gearing up once again to make more money from IP licensing than actual device sales, as they gather more patents relevant to smart watches while not shipping any, while their main opponent Google gets ready to churn out a whole flotilla of smart arm bands.
Their latest two patents is for Discreetly Displaying Contextually Relevant Information on a display device, with a smart watch being used on most occasions, with information being transmitted wirelessly from a smartphone.
As can be seen from the illustrations, the information can include simple notifications, but also more interactive and information-rich information such as GPS Navigation directions.
Another new patent is for a Dynamic User Interfaces Adapted to Inferred User Contexts.
There has been plenty of speculation about a future Microsoft-powered smart watch, and while there has not been any strong rumours regarding availability yet, many think the accessory is inevitable, due to strong moves by Apple and Google in the area.
We have seen a recent patent for a fitness band by Microsoft (right), and today we bring you a recent design patent which may reveal what the device will actually look like.
The design patent, for “The ornamental design for an electronic band, as shown and described” appears to be for a rather sleek device with a pretty large screen and tapered band.
It is of note that that design is very similar to the fitness band patented, suggesting that this may be close to the final appearance.
The patent was applied for in March 15th 2013 and only granted on March 25th 2014.
See more images after the break.
Graphics Artist PhoneDesigner, who frequently mocks up Nokia concept devices, has turned his attention to a Nokia smart watch.
Based on pictures of a leaked prototype device (right), the device is a slightly sleeker take on this, and features a glance/today screen type UI which should ensure long battery life.
After divesting itself of their handset business Nokia has said they will be turning their attention to wearables, so a device from the company will likely eventually hit the market, and will hopefully be Windows Phone compatible.
What do our readers think of the design? See more pictures after the break.
Speaking at the UBS Global Technology Summit recently, Microsoft devices and services chief Larson-Green hinted that we could see some wearable devices from Microsoft in 2014.
"For my lifetime, there will desktop computers where people are doing precision movements with the mouse, which are highly tuned for productivity and typing – as well as maybe something on your wrist or on your head or something in your pocket where you will want to interact. You’ll want to see your emails, get notifications, get access to the information you need to do your job as well as interact with friends and family."
"Devices that are going to be in your home or on your body, services where you can get access to all the information and data you care about. The people, the documents, the entertainment, all the things in your life from whatever device is most convenient for you at the time."
Microsoft’s vision is based on ubiquitous computing, where we are not only surrounded by devices, but by devices that know us and try and help us.
She thinks the next step is the magic that happens when you bring together sensors that you wear or walk past, combining information from apps that can connect to each other and natural interfaces.
It seems the crowd-sourcing fundraising project for the Russian Gnomio smartwatch which was meant to be compatible with Windows Phone and run on Windows Embedded Compact 7 has been cancelled.
Some donors at IndieGogo have been refunded, suggesting the company was not finding traction in hitting their goal of $100,000. The project page at IndieGogo has also been made private.
The team had planned to have the product out by April next year, but their time scale always appeared overly optimistic, which I think scared off many investors.
The ambitious goal of the watch was to support:
- Notification of incoming and missed calls
- SMS and email notification
- Facebook and Twitter messages
- Calendar reminders, timer
- The player controls
- Reminders of low battery charge smartphone
- Search feature phone
Hopefully the same company will get alternate funding, or some-one else will step up next year with a product the Windows Phone community can really get behind.
Thanks GG002 for the tip.