Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been trying to break into the consumer hardware market for a long time, though the company’s attempts have always seemed to trail behind those of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Microsoft followed the firm into portable music, and into tablets. Now it seems that the company is going to jump on the smart watch bandwagon.

Microsoft Smartwatch Patents

According to a patent that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) filed in 2012, the company has been working with wearable technology for quite a while. The documentation may simply point to a Microsoft that’s experimenting with lots of different kinds of hardware, or it could be an indication that the company is serious about wearable devices. Microsoft was one of the first computers that talked about having a hundred small computers instead of one big one, and that concept may be carrying through in the firm’s smartwatch ambitions.

Microsoft wearable is designed for fitness

As rumors about the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iWatch have built through 2013 and 2014, one major trend has crept in. According to the majority of reports, Apple is planning on aiming its iWatch at fitness and health buffs in a major way. The company is apparently confident of a market opportunity in that area. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), according to the 2012, may have had the same idea a long time ago.

Microsoft Smartwatch Patents 2

What Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) patented as a “wearable personal information system” appears to have been aimed directly at the fitness market. According to the patent filing, which can be found here, “the adoption of such portable electronic devices during exercise is not as widespread as it could be.” The Microsoft solution is designed to reduce the problems with attempts at wearable fitness accessories.

It’s not clear what the precise function of the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) patented device would have been, but the instrument was, according to the patent, to have all of the hallmarks of the rumored iWatch, and many other offerings in the area.

iWatch patent battle could come from Microsoft

This isn’t the first time that a Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MST) idea has ended up being adopted at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), though the process has also been known to occur in reverse. Microsoft showed off its first conceptualized smartwatch back in 2002, as part of its original tech-bubble push for the internet of things. The company has since failed to deliver anything like a wearable fitness gadget, making this patent seem like an extension of the original idea rather than the basis of a product push.

Once the iWatch is released, and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) secures profits from it, patent claims about the origins of the technologies used in the product are likely to erupt. The smartwatch concept has been a mainstay of science fiction for decades, but one concentrated on fitness applications has not been. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) may attempt to slow Apple sales with a court battle over he origin of the device.

Meanwhile, it’s expected that Microsoft will release a decent smartwatch 2-3 years after Apple proves that the project has market value.