Rumor: Microsoft could release a smartwatch as early as this summer

Rumor: Microsoft could release a smartwatch as early as this summer

The market for wearable technology is one that is still developing, and Microsoft is one big name that has been notable for its absence in this particular arena. According to new rumors, this could be set to change very soon. In what is being described as "a surprising development", Forbes reports that Microsoft is on the verge of releasing a smartwatch; perhaps as soon as this summer.

The fact that the upcoming smartwatch is described as being "sensor-rich" should probably come as no surprise, but there is another suggestion that is rather more astonishing. Forbes says that the smartwatch will not only monitor vital stats such as heart rate, but that it will sync not just with Windows Phone, but also iPhones and Android handsets.

If the rumors turns out to be true, the decision to support platforms other than just Windows Phone is an interesting one. Although Microsoft has refused to comment on the speculation, Forbes states that "multiple sources with knowledge of the company’s plans" have provided details about the wearable device. This includes information about the hardware such as a battery that last for two days. Microsoft's Xbox Kinect division is apparently involved in the project, bringing round the clock body monitoring.

Support for Android and iOS would not be a complete surprise, particularly bearing in mind the fact that the mobile version of Office made its debut on iPad rather than a Microsoft device.

It's likely that any Microsoft smartwatch would tie in with existing apps and services such as Bing Health and Fitness, and it could help to fuel the growth of Windows Phone.

What would you look for in a Microsoft wearable? What features would it need to stand out from the likes of FitBit and Basis?