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.