Microsoft developing Clip “hearable” device, Cortana integration included

Well, look at this, will you? It seems like the Band 2 isn’t the only wearable device tickling Microsoft’s research and development teams fancy. According to Wareable, a tech site for “your connected self”, Microsoft is also working on at least one other device, this one aimed primarily at extending Cortana’s reach.

Dubbed a “hearable,” the new device is rumored to be called the “Clip.” This is the first time we’ve heard of the hearable segment (no pun intended, really) as applied to consumer electronics (as opposed to hearing aids), and we’ll just define it as devices that are intended to be worn in-ear for the purpose of communicating exclusively through audio.

Likely shipping sometime in 2016 (or later) and directed primarily at women with busy lives, the Clip could be something akin to the Moto Hint, specifically a device that plugs straight into the ear canal. Theoretically, given the name, the device could also “clip” (get it?) onto an earlobe for hands-free operation. If we had to guess, “Hey Cortana” would be the mechanism for interacting with the device, for things like setting quick reminders, checking the weather, hearing notifications, and other nifty Cortana tricks.

At the same time, Wareable indicates that the Clip could be yet another Microsoft cross-platform effort, supporting Siri on iOS and Google Now on Android. That would certainly follow along with their general wearables strategy, with both Bands being compatible with competitor devices.

Our take is that if Microsoft has something like the Clip in the works, then hopefully they’re planning on other Cortana-integrated devices as well. We’d prefer to see them focusing on Cortana alone, but if cross-platform is what it takes for Microsoft to invest in new devices, then that’s better than nothing.

Maybe a bona fide smartwatch is in the works, eh? That would make for a nice new Windows 10 device.

Thanks to Motorola for the nifty professional-looking-woman-with-implanted-hearable image.

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Would you stick a Microsoft Clip in your ear?