Microsoft has pretty much abandoned smartphones/activity trackers after letting the Microsoft Band go, but leaks showing unreleased devices are living proof that the company was at some point pretty committed to this particular side of the industry.
The Microsoft Xbox smartwatch that was recently leaked makes the rounds one more time these days thanks to a video showing the device up and running.
The watch, which appears to boast an interface that reminds of the Microsoft Band, was supposed to feature a 1.5-inch display with touch support, with a design that’s more or less similar to the Apple Watch, though not the same build quality appears to be offered.
On the other hand, it’s worth highlighting this was just a prototype apparently codenamed “Joule,” so a rough design and features that aren’t working exactly as expected aren’t something totally surprising.
For example, this video shows that the smartwatch crashes several times when trying to connect to GPS, and becomes very unresponsive in several parts of the operating system, clearly proving that this was work in progress.
The good news is that Microsoft wanted the Xbox smartwatch to be a very capable device, and this is why it equipped the wearable with the kind of features that you find on rather expensive models, including EKG support, GPS tracker, a heart rate monitor, and an increased focus on fitness activities.
Eventually, some of these features made it to the Microsoft Band, and the activity tracking focus has been maintained, though it only lasted for just two generations.
The software giant has never acknowledged the death of Microsoft Band officially, though the project was abandoned entirely, with no third model ever launched. And by the looks of things, no such wearable is on the company’s radar for the next few years, despite such devices generate high sales, as it’s the case of the Apple Watch.
Wearables are expected to generate sales of more than $40 billion in 2021, according to recent estimates, with smartwatches and activity trackers to lead the market.