With Google, Apple and Samsung all working on wearable gadgets, we can safely say this niche in technology is about to come to the fore like never before in the next few years. And a new rumour claims Microsoft wants to join the party too: the company is reportedly planning its own set of connected glasses in the first half of 2014. Apple Insider reports that analyst Brian White told investors Microsoft is planning to bring a Google Glass and iWatch competitor next year.

White believes Microsoft wants to be on the ball when Google Glass goes on sale later this year. Google’s entry in wearable electronics will give the impetus for other manufacturers, White said. “It appears to us that Google has made significant breakthroughs around software applications as it relates to this new product. As such, we believe this initiative will kick off a major push into the field of wearable electronics and therefore will be closely scrutinized,” he said.

Initially, Glass will be available in five colours

A flood of wearables in 2014?

If the rumour pans out, Microsoft’s wearable device could be part of the Kinect revamp, which will be a part of the next Xbox. A wearable gaming accessory or a Glass-like device could give the next-generation Xbox 720 a serious edge over the competition. It will also provide another front for Microsoft in the battle for smartphone market share, where both Google and Apple will have wearable devices in the near future.

While we already have an idea about what Google Glass will be offering, details about Apple’s iWatch have been kept under guard, in typical Apple fashion. From past rumours and patent applications submitted by the company, we can glean that the iWatch will work in conjunction with existing iOS devices and will most likely début with a reworked version of Apple’s mobile OS.

In addition to the iWatch, White said Apple is also planning on a complete revamp for Apple TV, which will come with a wearable remote control called the iRing, allowing users to control their sets with a flick of the finger. Based on his visits to Apple suppliers, White said the new Apple TV will come with a mini ‘iTV’ screen that will allow users to view content on a smaller 9.7-inch display, à la the iPad.

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