Earlier this week, we reported on claims that Microsoft is preparing to join other tech giants, including Samsung and Apple, in developing a new 'smartwatch'. The report pointed to orders that Microsoft had apparently placed with suppliers in Asia for 1.5-inch touchscreens.
Today, further information has emerged that further substantiates these claims. The Verge cites a "reliable source" who has confirmed to them that Microsoft is indeed creating a smartwatch device, and that its Xbox team has been working on its development for over a year.
Here's one they made earlier...
You may be wondering why development is being managed by the Xbox team. The answer is simple: the original plan in developing a watch-like device was to launch it as a heart-rate monitor, a fitness accessory for the Xbox 360 console, known as 'Joule'. During the course of development, plans changed, and it was decided to broaden the scope of development into a multi-purpose smartwatch device instead.
It seems that we're still some way from seeing a finished product, with development still in the prototype stages, but multiple groups within the Xbox team - including those who have worked on other Xbox accessories, such as Kinect, now involved in its development. The device is said to feature a removable strap and, in line with this week's previous report, a 1.5-inch touch display; one prototype apparently includes a Surface-style magnetic power connector.
Given the stage of development at which the project is currently said to be, it seems unlikely that we'll see the new smartwatch being unveiled alongside the new Xbox console; we're expecting to get our first glimpse of that product in just a few weeks' time.