It probably goes without saying that Microsoft, along with the rest of the tech world, was working on a smartwatch. And while, by some accounts, the category is finally having its moment, the software giant’s efforts didn’t appear to make it too far beyond the prototype stage.
New photos posted by a Twitter user and spotted by Windows Central purport to show the company’s abandoned effort. Similar images popped up late last year, but these actually show the thing powered on, betraying the same fitness focus that dominated the company’s abandoned Band wearables line.
The device appears to be in line with the one the company was said to be testing internally a few years back. Designed by part of the Xbox hardware team, the hardware has a 1.5-inch display and support for heart rate monitoring.
It’s probably for the best the device never saw the light of day. Wearables have proven elusive for Microsoft. The Band line was severely lacking from a hardware perspective, and the company didn’t really do much to distinguish the offering beyond that, failing to make headway in an overcrowded wearable space.
The company ultimately halted sales on the Band 2 and killed work on its successor. Last year, meanwhile, Microsoft appeared to be transitioning its focus toward its Health software offering, with potential plans to work with third-party hardware developers. Though admittedly, not all that much appears to have happened on that front, either.