Microsoft has long been rumoured to be working on a smartwatch, but news has gone quiet – until now.
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Redmond-watchers Microsoft News uncovered a series of patents from the software giant that scream “activity tracking”, but with a gaming twist.
The main patent refers to “personal training with physical activity monitoring device” and clearly denotes the type of tracking seen on rival bands such as the Samsung Gear Fit or the Jawbone UP24.
The patent describes “a physical activity monitoring device receives a workout regime including a plurality of exercises”, which for those that speak English means a band that can track your workouts and turn it into data. Who said patents were impenetrably dull?
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More interesting, perhaps, is a second patent that describes a “monitoring device receives an indication of one or more physical activities to be performed as an extension of a game being played on a game system.”
This seems to allude to the measurement of real-life activity, blended with games.
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Could this mean 10-mile runs to get past a boss in Tomb Raider? Unlikely, but perhaps Xbox games that require you to get off the sofa could be a feature of 2015.
Whatever the definition of gaming, it seems the Microsoft activity tracking wearable will try to ‘gamify’ your workouts to an unprecedented and Microsoft could take a totally fresh look at fitness.
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The news is the first serious indication that Microsoft’s designers are working on a band since Paul Thurrott revealed in July that his sources had confirmed “Microsoft will this Fall release a Samsung Gear Fit-like fitness band that will display smart phone-based notifications.”
With the recent news that Microsoft is looking at simplifying its mobile branding to just “Windows” (rather than Windows Phone) and Lumia (rather than Nokia Lumia), the first Lumia Fit band could be on the horizon.