Microsoft smart watch to be built by team behind Surface tablet
Development for the upcoming device have been moved to the Surface team responsible for Microsoft's latest tablets
Microsoft employees are reportedly testing a prototype smart watch constructed from aluminium oxynitride – an expensive material known as ‘transparent aluminium’ that’s three times harder than glass.
Technically a ceramic rather than a metal, transparent aluminium is stable at temperatures up to 1,200 °C and is so futuristic that its first public mention was in Star Trek, where a time-travelling plot saw the then-fictional 24th-century material traded with incredulous humans, circa 1980.
Unsurprisingly, this sort of future-proof gear doesn't come cheap, with current manufacturing costs of around $20,000 (£13,000) per square metre. Whether Microsoft has managed to improve upon these production methods is unknown.
The news has lifted expectations for a Microsoft smart-watch, news of which first emerged in April, after reports that the company had contacted Asian electronics suppliers to order 1.5-inch displays.
The smart watch market has exploded over the past year, after finding early success with crowd-funded devices like the MetaWatch and the Pebble. Now, every major tech company from Sony to Samsung have thrown their hat into the ring, with Apple’s much-rumoured ‘iWatch’ grabbing most of the headlines.
Microsoft’s own offering is currently being developed by the team responsible for the Surface range of tablets. As such it’s expected that the watch will support a modified version of Windows 8 – Microsoft’s touch-screen orientated operating system.
Moving development to Surface also complements recent changes in Microsoft’s organizational structure, which saw many departments merged together. CEO Steve Ballmer promised that the reshuffle would help the company create a cohesive range of devices that work across a shared platform.
How exactly the new smart watch might tie in with Microsoft’s current range of hardware is unclear, though the device is said to include fast mobile connections via LTE and connect to the cloud to provide much of its services.
Life & Style blogs
iPhone 6S price: new handset to remain as expensive, Apple unlikely to increase phones' storage
A daily walk 'can add seven years to your life'
Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
New Apple TV release date and price: streaming box and games console will launch in October
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms
- 1 If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 2 David De Gea: Manchester United goalkeeper's £29m move to Real Madrid off - because paperwork 'not done in time'
- 3 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 4 Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
- 5 New Apple TV release date and price: streaming box and games console will launch in October
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£30 - 40k + Benefits & Bonus: Guru Careers: A Software / Web Developer (PHP / ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is the single governing and regul...
£30 - 50k (DOE): Guru Careers: An experienced Software / Web Developer (PHP) i...
£18 - 23k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Junior Artworker / Junior Mac Ar...