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Microsoft Readies Answer to Google Glass

October 23, 2013 | Telepresence Options

google glass

Story and images by Lorraine Luk / WSJ

Microsoft(MSFT-1.19%)�may have missed the first boat on smartphones but it refuses to be left behind in the race to launch wearable devices.

The company�is testing prototypes�for Internet-connected eyewear similar toGoogle's (GOOG+0.37%)�Glass, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal, underscoring the company's ambitions to go head-to-head with Google, Samsung and�Apple�(AAPL-0.29%)�on devices.

Last month, Microsoft struck�a $7 billion deal to acquireNokia(NOK1V.HE+0.85%)'s cellphone business in a bid to catch up in a market dominated by Samsung and Apple. Microsoft also has launched the Surface tablet computer and�continues to test its own touch-enabled watch, people familiar with the matter have said.

Research firm Gartner expects the market for wearable smart electronics to be a $10 billion industry by 2016. Last month, Samsung unveiled�the Galaxy Gear, a digital watch that can run apps and interact with its own family of smartphones.

"Technology companies can't afford to wait," Canalys analyst Daniel Matte said. "But device vendors will face a number of tough challenges including strict power constraints which limit the number of sensors."

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