With Google, Apple, Samsung, LG and even Motorola jumping on (or being rumored to be jumping on) the smartwatch bandwagon, Microsoft are being proactive, filing for a "wearable personal information system" or a smartwatch. The filing, which was applied for in October 2012 and has just been released to the public, was first spotted by CNN Money.
Microsoft's idea for a smartwatch is very similar in design to the iPod nano 6th generation, with a small square display and the ability to be taken out of the watch casing and placed into a dock. The watch can function as a fitness tracker, a music player, a phone and a messaging device.
Microsoft will already be playing catchup to Samsung, Motorola and Pebble if they release a smartwatch. Samsung's Galaxy Gear was released last year and has sold well despite negative reviews at launch. Motorola's 360 watch has garnered much praise and will be released in the summer of 2014, running Android Wear, a version of Android designed to run on wearable devices. Pebble, a company that released the first smartwatch to the market funded by Kickstarter, has reportedly sold 400,000 of its watches, showing that there is some market for a wearable computing device.
Whether this device will ever make it to market still remains to be seen. Patent applications can be made by companies and the technology can never be acted upon, but may be willing to be quick in releasing wearable technology after losing out in the smartphone and tablet stakes.