The details keep rolling in on Microsoft’s upcoming fitness band, which will likely be announced within a few weeks.
A new filing with the Federal Communications Commission describes a “mobile wireless device” that comes in small, medium and large sizes, according to Windows Phone Daily. The filing says the circuitry is the same inside each device, suggesting that the size differences are merely meant to fit a wide variety of wrists.
But a more intriguing rumor came in earlier this week, during a broadcast of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC. During the show, one of the characters flashed a slim fitness band with a color display, showing the wearer’s heart rate. As Twitter user Erdim Tanyeri pointed out, Microsoft products such as the Surface Pro 3 and Lumia phones frequently appear on the show, so the fitness band could be Microsoft’s next act of product placement.
While the fitness band came with no mention of Microsoft, its brief appearance does jibe with previous rumors. A Forbes report from earlier this week claimed the device would have two-day battery life—suggesting a full color display—and would feature continuous heart rate monitoring. Paul Thurrott has also reported that out of all current smartwatches and fitness bands, Microsoft’s product most closely resembles the Samsung Gear Fit. Both the S.H.I.E.L.D. band and Samsung’s watch have long and narrow color displays. Microsoft’s device will reportedly work with iPhones, Android devices and Windows Phones.
As for availability, the Forbes report claimed a launch is just a few weeks away. With Microsoft gaining FCC approval, it won’t be long until we get the full scoop.
Why this matters: With more evidence piling up, it now seems like a given that Microsoft is getting into the wearable business soon. What we don’t know yet—and what none of the leaks and rumors have told us—is how Microsoft will distinguish itself in an increasingly crowded and commoditized field. Expect the answer to have something to do with the cloud and cross-platform support, as those are Microsoft’s major focuses now.