Microsoft is the latest company tipped to be building a smartwatch after it was reported that the company is developing a touchscreen watch device.

abacus-smartwatchSupplier executives told the Wall street Journal that Microsoft had asked them to ship components for a watch, including 1.5-inch displays, and one source claimed to have met with the firm’s R&D team.

Microsoft actually tried to get into the watch game in the early 2000s with its Smart Personal Objects Technology initiative. SPOT-powered watches arrived in 2004 before fizzling out in 2008.

With the development of its Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets, Microsoft has ramped up its hardware division. Last week, it was reported that the company is working on a 7-inch tablet as well. The software giant has worked closely with Nokia and other hardware partners on its Windows Phone platform, but device sales are still significantly left than competing platforms from Apple and Google.

An industry-wide race to build a modern smartwatch have kept speculation high on the future of intelligent timekeeping. Samsung confirmed last month that it is working on such a project, while Apple is reportedly working on an iOS-based watch for release later this year. Google has also been named as investigating the possibility of a smartwatch.

With Google set to deliver its Glass prototypes soon, wearable computingis poised to make the jump from science-fiction to reality. China’s Baidu has also said it is working on its own “Baidu Eye” smartglass prototype.

Credit: TNW