Microsoft is throwing its hat into the smartwatch ring, The Wall Street Journal reports. The Journal, citing unnamed sources, reports that Microsoft has asked its suppliers for tiny touchscreens that could be used to manufacture a computerized timepiece.
Microsoft dabbled in wristwatches before. Its Smart Personal Object Technology (SPOT) project debuted in 2002 and was a flop. Ironically, the failure of SPOT was attributed to the fact that smartphones made the technology irrelevant. Now smartwatch projects are in vogue, continuing the trend of what Apple board member Bill Campbell dubbed "intimate" personal tech devices like Google Glass.
In February, The New York Times reported that Apple was developing a wristwatch-like iOS device with curved glass, and tech bloggers have been nerding out about the news since, creating mockups and speculating about the kind of features the iWatch could offer. Geeks are very excited about the prospect of wearing tricked-out gadgets à la Dick Tracy, James Bond and Batman. Samsung, Google and every other tech company have been experimenting with smartwatches. Meanwhile, the PC industry experienced its steepest decline ever in 2013.