Report: Former Xbox and Kincet teams shifted to smart watch duty

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Microsoft is apparently taking its rumored smart watch quite seriously, as former members of Redmond's flagship Xbox and Kinect team are reportedly working on the device.

According to The Verge, the device was originally conceived as a limited health rate monitor, but soon morphed into a full-fledged smart watch. The watch is still in officially in a prototype phase, and as of this moment, boasts a 1.5-inch touch display attached to removable bands.

As AppleInsider's Sam Oliver points out, rumors of smart watches and other wearable technology have been heating up for weeks, as industry insiders claim such devices will be the next big thing in tech.

Indeed, Apple reportedly has a 100-person team working on an aptly-named iWatch, while industry heavyweights Samsung and LG are busy designing their own versions of wrist tech.
"[Of course], any potential wearable devices from Apple, Microsoft or others would compete with Google Glass, a smart headset accessory in development by the search company," Oliver added.

"Unlike rumored products from other companies, Google has been very public in its development of Glass, and recently began providing the first test units to developers and others."

It should probably also be noted that Microsoft is working on its own version of Glass. Indeed, according to analyst Brian White, Microsoft is prepping a set of Internet-connected glasses that could launch as early as 2014, likely well after Google's spectacles ship in late 2013.

White also believes the advent of Google Glass will kick off a concerted push by industry heavyweights who are serious about wearable electronics.

"It appears to us that Google has made significant breakthroughs around software applications as it relates to this new product," White explained. "As such, we believe this initiative will kick off a major push into the field of wearable electronics and therefore will be closely scrutinized."

In related news, a number of reports indicate the China-based Baidu is prepping its own version of Google Glass. Dubbed the Baidu Eye, the device boasts a number of Glass-like features, including an LCD display, voice control functions, speakers, image recognition and a bone conductive microphone.

Google Glass can best be described as a wearable computer with a head-mounted display (HMD). The device displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format capable of interacting with the Internet via natural language voice commands.