Could Microsoft be about to join the smartwatch race?

A new patent has revealed that Microsoft is developing a smartwatch that will rival the Samsung Galaxy Gear and the much rumoured Apple iWatch.

Microsoft filed the Wearable Personal Information System patent in 2012 for a fitness tracking smartwatch where the display can be detached and used with other fitness equipment.

The patent has only just been granted and the United States Patent and Trademark Office has released several drawings of what the device could possibly look like. 

Microsoft Smartwatch Patent

The patent says that Microsoft's smartwatch will contain GPS, motion sensors and optical sensors, so it will be able to locate where the user is, what they are doing and measure their heart rate.

It also looks as if the tech giant has plans for its smartwatch other than it just being a fitness tracker. The patent speaks of other functions such as an alarm clock, a music player, phone calling and messaging applications.

The device would also be expected to come installed with some of Microsoft's newer developments like Bing search and the Cortana voice assistant.

Samsung has already entered the market with its Galaxy Gear line of watches, but they have been criticised for being to expensive costing between £170-£250. Apple hasn't yet entered the fray but is expected to launch an iWatch sometime later this year.

The wearables market could be the battleground for the world's biggest tech companies in the next for years if the idea really takes off.