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The tech giant is testing eyewear prototypes and has asked several suppliers in Asia to provide cameras and other key components, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Microsoft is "determined to take the lead in hardware manufacturing to make sure the company won't miss out on the opportunities in the wearable gadget market," a person familiar with the testing told the paper.
The Wall Street Journal reported in April that Microsoft was working on a smartwatch with a 1.5-inch display. Samsung recently released the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Apple, Google and LG are all rumored to be working on smartwatch devices as well.
The market for wearable tech -- including eyewear, smartwatches and internet-connected devices worn on other parts of the body -- is picking up steam. By 2017, companies are expected to ship more than 64 million wearable technology devices, according to a recent report from Swedish telecom market researcher Berg Insight. That includes 35 million smartwatches, a significant bump from the 400,000 that are expected to be sold this year.
Whether Microsoft is simply experimenting or actually intends to bring a smartwatch or heads-up device to market is unclear. A press representative for Microsoft did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.