Panos Panay, the man behind the Surface line of products and now in charge of many of Microsoft’s premium products, has seemingly, unwittingly leaked the Microsoft Band 3, or at least a prototype of the upcoming device.
A few hours ago Panos Panay was on livestream showing off one of the company’s design labs where devices like the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 come together. While walking around the company’s labs, and teasing viewers about the products and prototypes hosted within, Panay unwittingly rolled up his sleeves, unveiling what looks like a Microsoft Band 2 – but not quite.
As you can see, the device has the clear stylings of a Band wearable, but also looks to feature a wider, perhaps slimmer band that seems to be a bit more flush with the wearer’s arm. On top of that, the band itself is obviously white, or at the very least some sort of light gray, a color scheme not currently available for the Band 2.
Now, did Panos Panay mistakenly unveil the Band 3? There’s that possibility, of course. After all, only a few seconds later he seems to realize what he’s done and quickly rolls his sleeve back down over the device.
Then again, later in the stream he makes a point of how the labs were a bit cleaner than usual, possibly thanks to the livestream – meaning some preparations were made to make sure no devices or concepts were inadvertently leaked. If that’s the case, Panay himself forgetting to take off the Band 3 would be a pretty egregious mistake. Which brings us to another possibility: maybe he intentionally leaked it, to build up some hype and let the company’s fans get a sneak peek at the upcoming wearable.
Finally, there’s, of course, another possibility: this wasn’t the Band 3 nor was it some secret prototype design. This could’ve been a custom made edition of the Band 2 or some other device.
After all being in charge of Microsoft’s premium devices and the labs that design them does come with some perks – having a personalized device seems like a very plausible explanation of the incident.
In either case, there are strong indications that Microsoft is working on a new wearable. Recently, the Band 2 has received numerous price cuts around the world with the company seemingly getting rid of inventory to make room for a new device.
The Band 3 is expected to launch some time later this year, though it’s not clear which launch windows Microsoft is aiming for. The Band 2 was launched last year in October, so a holiday season launch is one strong possibility.