What gadget geek doesn’t want his or her own combadge? Somewhere at the intersection between virtual digital assistants and wearable hardware there’s the dream of being able to access a powerful voice-controlled computer wherever you go; just ask it something, and it answers. We’ve already got shades of that with Android Wear and the Apple Watch, and now Microsoft may be planning its own spin on the idea, as a source discusses the company’s plans for a Cortana-based wearable device.
Supposedly in development under the name Clip, the unit would provide users with a dedicated path to Cortana. Unlike current smartwatches, Clip sounds like it would be an audio-only device (a hearable)– a decision that could be both limiting or quite empowering, depending on how you look at it.
The full nature of the hardware isn’t clear at the moment (and Microsoft itself may not have even settled on a final design), so it’s unknown if we’re talking about something more like a Bluetooth headset, or closer to a clip-on badge (which would admittedly be a better fit for the name).
Maybe most promising, this source claims that Clip may even allow Android and iOS users to interact with Google Now and Siri, helping to separate the wearable hardware from the services powering it. Clip prototypes could be ready by the end of 2015, though a commercial launch will likely wait until at least next year.