By Chris Smith

Microsoft has reportedly built an iOS and Android-friendly watch with Kinect skills

Microsoft plans to stake its claim for a slice of the rapidly-expanding wearables ring, possibly as soon as this summer, with a multi platform-friendly smartwatch, if reports on Thursday are to be believed.

Forbes has received a heads up from its sources, claiming a wrist-mounted device that’ll play nice with Android, iOS and Windows Phone is at an advanced stage of development.

According to the report, the computing giant has enlisted the Kinect engineering team to spearhead the device, which will feature a continuous heart-rate monitor, among many advanced sensors.

Interestingly, the unnamed insiders claim, the watch’s display will be placed on the inside of the wrist in order to make it easier for users to keep their notifications to themselves.

Gum stick

That display size, the report asserts, will be the size of “half a stick of gum,” while the battery will last for two days.

The Kinect team has also developed software to harness the data served up by those health and fitness sensors, perhaps not to dissimilar to Samsung’s newly-announced, open source Simband platform.

Forbes said the timescale for release is unclear but claimed a summer 2014 launch is possible as it seeks to beat Apple and its rumoured iWatch or iBand to the punch.

While it has been rumoured Microsoft has been working on a wearable for quite some time, the prospect of a device compatible on all of the major platforms would be big news and would increase the chances of success exponentially.

Perhaps this will be the first indication of new CEO Santar Nadella’s plans for a much more inclusive Microsoft with services that are available on a much wider array of devices?

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