Microsoft was working on an Xbox Watch years ago, and we now have pictures on what the device looked like powered on before the project was canceled.
The released images of the Xbox Watch prototype offered a glimpse into the early days of smartwatches, back when the device category was still trying to find its footing in the tech industry.
Xbox Watch Prototype Images
Images of the Xbox Watch have surfaced in the past, but this is the first time that a working prototype of the device is seen powered on.
The images come from Hikari Calyx, who apparently was able to acquire an Xbox Watch prototype and was able to boot it up. Calyx shared pictures of the device while powered on through Twitter, where he noted the "terrible resolution" of the Xbox Watch.
The Xbox Watch prototype was an extremely early version of the device, featuring only four apps: Workout, GPS, Settings, and a USB debugger.
It would appear that the Xbox Watch had a focus on fitness, possibly because at the time, the Nintendo Wii Fit was all the rage. The same fitness angle was also seen in the Microsoft Band line of devices, which were released after work ended on the Xbox Watch.
Since then, Microsoft has aligned the focus of the Xbox brand solely on video games, dropping all connections to wearable device technology.
Microsoft And Wearable Technology: Not A Good Match
The technology that Microsoft developed for the Xbox Watch was presumably rolled into the Microsoft Band. However, Microsoft's work on wearable devices was still for naught, as the Microsoft Band was also eventually canceled.
Microsoft has not been a good match with wearable device technology. The Xbox Watch never saw the light of day, while the Microsoft Band, compared to other products in the fledgling smartwatch industry, was lacking in terms of hardware. The Microsoft Band was also unable to offer any distinguishing factors amid a market with too many products and too few interested customers.
In late 2016, Microsoft killed off the Microsoft Band fitness tracker line, stopping sales of the Microsoft Band 2 and ending work on the Microsoft Band 3. The Microsoft Band 3 was later revealed to supposed to have waterproofing, RFID support, biometric data tracking, and swimming performance monitoring, among other features.
The Microsoft Band fitness trackers were launched at the expense of the Nokia Moonraker smartwatch, which Microsoft killed after it acquired Nokia. Unfortunately, we will never know if the Nokia Moonraker would have performed better in the market than the Microsoft Band.