Microsoft prepping ‘translucent aluminum’ smartwatch, sources say

“Microsoft’s prototype smartwatch testing has moved over to its Surface team,” Tom Warren reports for The Verge.

“Sources familiar with Microsoft’s Surface plans have revealed to The Verge that the company is now prototyping devices directly under the Surface team as the firm moves its wrist-worn device closer to reality,” Warren reports. “Previously, Microsoft had been testing variations of a smartwatch designed and prototyped by the Xbox accessories team, with the original plan of a ‘Joule’ heart rate monitor.”

Warren reports, “AmongTech recently reported that smartwatch prototypes include a variety of removable wrist bands in blue, red, yellow, black, white, and grey colors. We’re told that this is accurate, and that Microsoft’s smartwatch plans center around the idea of removable bands. AmongTech also claims that prototypes are housed in Oxynitride Aluminum, an expensive ‘translucent aluminum’ that is said to be three times harder than glass.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Transparent aluminum” will be their big selling point (think Vapor Mg) – because they don’t have the rights to Liquidmetal.

Related articles:
Fascinating Liquidmetal patent from Apple surfaces in Europe – April 27, 2013
Apple patent application reveals new machinery for creating Liquidmetal forms – January 31, 2013
Why did Apple lock in Liquidmetal for two more years? – June 25, 2012
New Apple agreement suggests Apple extends Liquidmetal exclusivity deal through February 2014 – June 19, 2012
Apple’s recent huge investments in plants and equipment for Liquidmetal use in iOS devices, Macs? – May 22, 2012
Apple granted its first Liquidmetal patent – January 5, 2011
Apple’s exclusive Liquidmetal pact could see future Apple products encased in metallic glass – August 11, 2010

51 Comments

          1. Right! Apple didn’t invent it. Apple made it better! Easier! Friendlier! Sexier! Funnier! Stabler! Securer! Envier! Game Changer! and a few more “ERs”…

          2. Anonymous coward ‘Chuck’: You’re trying to troll, aren’t you.

            Apple inventions can easily fill this page. The most relevant Apple invention is: AppleScript. It’s hella-easier and more relevant than BASIC.

            1. Sorry Derek…did I touch a nerve? No I am not a troll btw…I think it goes to show that blinkered Apple Fanboy opinions just make no sense. Of course Apple have invented some very good things but they have also infringed patents and copied just like any other tech company. I am just a realist and not in any kind of Apple/Microsoft camp. Get real.

            2. You’re ‘not’ a troll and here come the troll insults:
              – ‘blinkered Apple Fanboy’ – Well at least you capitalized ‘Fanboy’. Thank you!
              – ‘The have also infringed blahblahblah’ – No. Not at all like ‘any other tech company. Total FAIL on your part. Who’s ‘blinkered’? Obviously you. Really bad FAIL.

              ‘Reality’ for we meagre humans resides in our heads. Some are more realistic than others. Between the two of US, I’m afraid it is I who am more real. You see, I use my REAL name, as you can verify. Whereas YOU are just another anonymous coward hiding behind just another anonymous nick. Darn, little troll. 😛

            3. Nice try…quite liked the little flap you had there. So you don’t mind other pro Apple users using nicknames?
              Anyway, life is too short to continue this thread so I will end by recommending you to explore the tech world a little more and get a balanced view dear boy.

        1. 71 – you didn’t see the movie “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” did you?
          @Grigori is quoting a line spoken by Mr. Scott, who is being sarcastic about giving the formula for ‘transparent aluminum’ to a 20th century metallurgist / factory manager.

        2. Microsoft did not invent BASIC.

          “The original Dartmouth BASIC was designed in 1964 by John George Kemeny and Thomas Eugene Kurtz at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, U.S. to provide computer access to non-science students.”

    1. Bigger issue is that there is no “translucent aluminium” (however, there is translucent aluminium oxide, such sapphire, ruby, emerald), and Liquidmetal is not translucent at all, ether.

      (Ultimately, everything is translucent, but with those two materials it only possible with microscopic thinness that is by far not practical and the metals would not be able to sustain their shame at all.)

      1. Obviously, it’s a compound with aluminum instead of the pure element (given pure aluminum ain’t transparent). But it’s very common to refer to compounds by one of its critical elements: like calling the fluoride compound in toothpaste “fluoride”, or calling sodium chloride just sodium, or referring to an alloy of titanium, iron, aluminum as just titanium, or calling carbon dioxide just carbon. Don’t know why it’s so common, but it just is.

        I don’t agree with your take on translucency and transparency. It’s a practical, naked eye distinction. If whole images can seen looking through it, then the substance is transparent, just like water and air and even stained glass.

        1. In this case calling the material “aluminium” is totally wrong because it is nothing like aluminium in its qualities. There is no one who could mix an emerald with aluminium case of iPod.

          1. Oxynitride Aluminum sounds like has alumnium in it, right? And the relatively safe liquid fluoride in toothpaste bears little resemblance to pure fluoride, an extremely poisonous gas. Just let them call it transparent aluminum.

  1. And like Google, Samsung, LG, Sony, Nokia and whoever else is on the train, nobody will release their product until Apple shows them what it’s supposed to do. What it’s supposed to be. They have the parts gathered but they’ll wait for Jony Ive to tell them how to piece the puzzle together.

    1. Sony has al-ready launched an Android powered Smartwatch. It’s H2O resistant, nfc enabled, can be personalized with apps, e.t.c. Not everybody is living & breathing Apple…well…, except for the fanboys.

      1. Sony had phones before the iPhone as well. Once the iWatch goes bang, it will make the aforementioned Sony watch look like such a piece of junk that Sony will be left wondering where their heads were. The suddenly improved version they release a year after the iWatch? That’s the product I’m talking about.

        Like computers, mp3 players, smartphones and tablets, there will be a pre-Apple era and a post-Apple era. That shitty little Sony Android watch will soon be a relic of the pre-iWatch period.

    2. Funny now what was that unique Tab computer they were going to launch that was going to destroy the iPad but was pure vapourware, yes this does onus strangely familiar though the only thing they seem to know is that oft war will be like Star Trek, probably the same software the ‘futuristic’ Tab had, and that it has multi coloured interchangable wristbands. Yup all the microsofties will be creaming themselves as usual.

  2. I keep thinking of the giant watch the Rabbit uses in Alice in Wonderland (the size of a PC) — then perhaps they can load in win 8, the watch chain hides the power cable attached to a backpack battery ….

    crazy? remember the size of the original big azz Surface table tablet…

  3. What good is “translucency,” except for styling, like with the original iMac?

    Oh, I get it… Translucent Windows. If what the user sees becomes fuzzy and murky, maybe they won’t care.

  4. “Microsoft’s smartwatch plans center around the idea of removable bands.”

    Shouldn’t it be centered around something like, I don’t know… functionality maybe?

    I can already remove the bands on most of my watches.

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