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A Microsoft Patent Shows that a Smartwatch with Smart Band Add-On Modules is at Least on their Drawing Board



Late last month the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Microsoft that revealed their work on a possible future Windows smartwatch. While the body of the watch will naturally contain vital components, users will also be able to add functionality to their watch by snapping in specialty modules in the form of watch band links as presented in patent figure 6 below. This very concept mirrors one that Apple is likewise attempting to patent.


Microsoft's patent FIG. 6 presented below schematically illustrates a smartwatch having a watch band (#602) formed from a plurality of modular segments #604. Microsoft notes that the wearable computing device may also be another kind of wearable device using the same principle like a necklace-type device.




The smartwatch may also double as a smartphone being able to take and telephone calls. In such a scenario the watch would have a microphone (e.g. in the form of a headset) may be connected to the body of the watch.


Other modules in the watch band could be an antenna #608, a microphone #610, an additional power supply #612 (e.g. battery, inductive charger, kinetic charger, etc.), a sensor package #614 (e.g. biometric sensor, image sensor, ambient light sensor, motion sensor, etc.), and memory #616.



The proposed Windows smartwatch may offer a standard watch face while offering a 'Metro-Like" user interface as noted above in FIG. 1 or yet a more modern GUI designed using Neon elements from their Fluent Design System as noted below. Using a subtle 3D GUI would be very interesting. Considering that the patent was shows a history dating back to 2014, patent figure 1 is likely outdated by now.


4AF Neon Windows


Yet the patent figure showing the user interface is making the point very clear that their smartwatch will be able to display many types of apps and services like other Surface devices do today.


Microsoft filed their patent application back in May of this year, though there's noted history dating back to 2014. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.


Patently Apple's other blog called Patently Mobile tries to cover higher profile patents from Apple competitors like Samsung, Microsoft and others. We look for new industry trends and products that may one day compete directly with Apple. On Patently Apple such reports could be found under "Non-Apple Patents" in our category archives. You can also find other reports directly on Patently Mobile.


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