Recently, I came across three different patents from Microsoft that hints at possible features in the upcoming wearable device from Microsoft. All three patents are related to fitness management using the wearable. Read the abstract of them below,
PERSONAL TRAINING WITH PHYSICAL ACTIVITY MONITORING DEVICE:
A physical activity monitoring device receives a workout regimen including a plurality of exercises. For each of the plurality of exercises, the physical activity monitoring device indicates that exercise to a user and measures physical activity attributes of the user. The physical activity monitoring device outputs information regarding the user’s progress towards completion of that exercise based on the physical activity attributes.
EXTENDING GAMEPLAY WITH PHYSICAL ACTIVITY MONITORING DEVICE:
A physical activity monitoring device receives an indication of one or more physical activities to be performed as an extension of a game being played on a game system and measures physical activity attributes of a user wearing the physical activity monitoring device. The physical activity monitoring device determines the user’s progress towards completion of the one or more physical activities based on the physical activity attributes and outputs to the game device an indication of the user’s progress towards completion of the one or more physical activities.
AUTOMATIC EXERCISE SEGMENTATION AND RECOGNITION:
A physical activity monitoring device includes a sensor array with one or more sensors configured to measure physical activity attributes of a user. A controller automatically determines time intervals where the user is actively engaged in a physical activity based on the physical activity attributes. The controller also automatically determines a type of physical activity the user in actively engaged in during the determined time intervals based on the physical activity attributes. A reporter outputs information regarding the type of physical activity to the user.
Reading inside these patents, we can see that the mentioned wearable device will have a sensor array which includes GPS, Accelerometer, Gyro, and heart rate monitor. All these patents were filed from a single team at Microsoft Research led by Dan Morris who is a Senior Researcher in the CUE group at Microsoft Research. In one of his project, they are working on a system for automatically tracking repetitive exercises – such as weight training and calisthenics – via an arm-worn inertial sensor. Their goal is to provide real-time and post-workout feedback, with no user-specific training and no intervention during a workout. Hopefully, Microsoft’s wearable device will include all these cool technologies from MSR.
Last week, Apple also joined the wearable market with Apple Watch which includes lots of fitness oriented features enabled by various sensors such as heart-rate sensors and more. In the past few months, we have heard various rumors about Microsoft developing its own wearable device. There were reports ranging from Microsoft ordering 1.5-inch displays from component makers to prototypes are being developed as part of Surface team in blue, red, yellow, black, white, and grey colors. One report claimed that this device is made of Oxynitride Aluminum, an expensive “translucent aluminum” that is said to be three times harder than glass.
Another report claimed that it is a cross-platform compatible Smartband and the display of the device will be on the inside of the wrist as opposed to the outside. It will look like a Slim band design that is said to resemble a thinner, flatter version of the Nike Fuelband with 10 sensors and is powered by chips from TI and Atmel. It can display smart phone-based notifications with integration into Bing Health and Fitness app and Microsoft HealthVault. Pricing will be around $199.