Microsoft reportedly testing smartwatch made of transparent aluminium

Earlier today, we reported that Apple's long-rumoured-never-seen iWatch is apparently still on the cards, and set for release next year. But over in Redmond, it seems that Microsoft is getting serious about its own smartwatch too, if the latest reports are correct. 

Back in April, it emerged that the Xbox development team had been working on smartwatch prototypes for over a year with numerous prototypes having already been produced. It was said that the Xbox team were behind the project as it had spun off from original plans to create a wearable heart monitor accessory for the Xbox 360, known as 'Joule'. 


Transparent aluminium: you have Scotty to thank for that

According to AmongTech, its sources have indicated the company has advanced its plans further since then, revealing new details about the device. It's said to be manufactured using an exotic material known as aluminium oxynitride, an 'optically transparent' ceramic that's around four times harder than glass, and almost as tough as sapphire. That said, it's also an extremely expensive material; whether that casts doubt on the claims, or simply indicates that the device will carry a high price tag, remains to be seen. 

The device is said to run an 'adapted' version of Windows 8, with some prototypes featuring 6GB of onboard storage and 4G LTE support. It doesn't have to be tethered to a handset to operate, unlike Google Glass, but it will be able to interact with handsets.

Additionally, colourful removable wriststraps will be offered, with blue, red, yellow, black, white and grey options listed. Over on The Verge, their sources have corroborated that much at least, adding that development responsibility has now shifted from the Xbox team to those responsible for Microsoft's Surface devices. 

Source: AmongTech via The Verge | Image via Paramount Pictures

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Doohan's final days were so sad. The poor guy had Parkinson's, Alzheimer's..was in a wheelchair..yet his family would drag him out to conventions.

I don't even think Doohan even knew where he was at most of the time he was at conventions.

Transparent aluminium... to many people this would be ultimate 'we are the future' statement

It would make you think twice about Apple as an innovator.

londan said,
Transparent aluminium... to many people this would be ultimate 'we are the future' statement

It would make you think twice about Apple as an innovator.

CRAPPLE is never a innovator. They are nothing but a mere copycat of existing products/ideas and add eye candy to make it attractive. Unlike Microsoft they take risks and introduce new/improved products that's ahead of its time. Isheeps are still waiting for "liquid metal" when Surface internal is liquid metal.

TheCyberKnight said,
A smart watch with 4G LTE running Windows 8? Right. Powered by a tiny nuclear reactor I guess.
Pretty much all of these devices are tied to your device... at least that's how I'm reading it.

It clearly says "It doesn't have to be tethered to a handset to operate, unlike Google Glass, but it will be able to interact with handsets."

All of this is just techno-news-babble without any substantial proof behind the claims. Rumor material, nothing more.

TheCyberKnight said,
It clearly says "It doesn't have to be tethered to a handset to operate, unlike Google Glass, but it will be able to interact with handsets."

All of this is just techno-news-babble without any substantial proof behind the claims. Rumor material, nothing more.

I stand corrected. I didn't really read this particular article all the way through. I always read the iwatch/glass stuff as requiring a parent device kind of like pebble and agent.

It's not really right to call it 'aluminum' if it's chemically combined with other elements.

It would be like calling water "liquid oxygen". It has oxygen in it but you can't really call it oxygen.

Also transparently aluminum-containing substances aren't that radical. Sapphires and Rubys are just aluminum oxide.

Stetson said,
It's not really right to call it 'aluminum' if it's chemically combined with other elements.

It would be like calling water "liquid oxygen". It has oxygen in it but you can't really call it oxygen.

Also transparently aluminum-containing substances aren't that radical. Sapphires and Rubys are just aluminum oxide.

Hows about you take off your lab coat and stay a while.

Spicoli said,
Don't like that sciencey stuff?
Not everybody is spiteful. Next time I'll put this at the end for those angry folks out there

** THIS IS A PLAYFUL JOKE **

Would be nice to see MS come to market with something first that had no "leaks" the way the Surface announcement went. Sounds cool, but no watches for me. Maybe Kim K will make it popular.

With some sarcasm, I must say it will be interesting to see what MS and Apple do for a piece of technology i havent warn in over 15 years. I guess they will be doing to the watch, what they did to the phone: Making its primary function tertiary.

MikeInBA said,
With some sarcasm, I must say it will be interesting to see what MS and Apple do for a piece of technology i havent warn in over 15 years. I guess they will be doing to the watch, what they did to the phone: Making its primary function tertiary.

Got to love having a watch that you have to recharge twice a day! at least you'll defiantly know what time is is... time to recharge lol

MikeInBA said,
With some sarcasm, I must say it will be interesting to see what MS and Apple do for a piece of technology i havent warn in over 15 years. I guess they will be doing to the watch, what they did to the phone: Making its primary function tertiary.

Some of us have been waiting a very long time for our Dick Tracy watches.

sagum said,

Got to love having a watch that you have to recharge twice a day! at least you'll defiantly know what time is is... time to recharge lol

Hehe. I guess if they can make it an event, similar to what the digital watch was to the analogue watch, then it might become a Craze?

Spicoli said,
I'd be shocked if there ever is a market for a geek watch.

Exactly, they tried that in the 90s with the MSN Watch and failed to gain much traction.

Gungel said,

Exactly, they tried that in the 90s with the MSN Watch and failed to gain much traction.

Part of coming to the market in time to be competitive is not being in the market 20 years too early.

NastySasquatch said,

Part of coming to the market in time to be competitive is not being in the market 20 years too early.

That assumes the market is now and not in another 20 years. Considering the brick it has to be to with current batteries along with the heat it will create, it's not likely now.

Spicoli said,
I'd be shocked if there ever is a market for a geek watch.

Smart Watch could very well one day (not too far from now) be made of a normal watch bracelet and housing where the glass and housing interior is replaced by a good enough LCD screen able to electronically display a convincing old school watch housing interior as well as more info like the weather and such as requested by the user.

startscreennope said,
"Am I the only one who doesn't want wearable junk?"

As soon as MS starts researching "wearable junk":

"Wearable junk is the future, accept it or die."

Nowhere in my above comment did I say that. Nice try, but go troll elsewhere.

startscreennope said,
You said "Am I the only one who doesn't want wearable junk?", and you will be prostrating for MS as soon as they start selling said "wearable junk".

Riiiiiight.... Say, I'm going to go someplace else now. Please don't follow me. Kthnx.

Also a potent warning that if we kill all the whales, sometime in the 23rd century, an alien probe will arrive at Earth and destroy all life in an effort to communicate with them.

This is exactly the very reason why we should never hunt whales to extinction.

Yogurth said,
Welcome to Star Trek "The Long Voyage Home"...not a great move, but wonderful source of tech and medical inspiration

Spock's colorful metaphors made it worthwhile. And it's just "The Voyage Home"; not sure whether your addition of "long" was a commentary on how you felt about it...

_dandy_ said,

Spock's colorful metaphors made it worthwhile. And it's just "The Voyage Home"; not sure whether your addition of "long" was a commentary on how you felt about it...

You got me there