Before Microsoft acquired Nokia’s devices and services division last year, the phone maker what building its own smartwatch under the internal codename “Moonraker”. However, soon after Microsoft became the owner, the project was canceled.
Today, a number of images have been published on Tumblr by a Microsoft design employee Pei- Chi Hseih. While the images only lived on the site for a few hours before they were taken down, according to The Verge, the images were created for marketing purposes and not just as a concept project.
It also appears that the device almost made it to the market, as Nokia is said to have shown working prototypes to a number of people behind closed doors during the Mobile World Congress in 2014. Nokia was planning to unveil the new wearable alongside the Lumia 930.
The Verge claims that project “Moonranker” had various sensors that let users lift their arm to read texts or drop it to turn off the display, but Microsoft opted to go forward with the Band, just because it had more functionality.
The Nokia smartwatch software was inspired by the “Metro” design language found in Windows Phone with email, phone, and messaging app. There even was a camera remote to take pictures on the phone using the watch. Social network using Facebook and MixRadio were integrated on the device, alongside a number of watch faces and different colored straps.
While it’s very unlikely that Nokia’s original “Moonraker” makes it to the smartwatch market, it shows that Microsoft had some inspiration to bring a more fashionable device to the market. Microsoft is now working on a second version of its Band, which is likely to hit the market before the end of the year, and while the software will continue to be similar in the Microsoft Band 2, the design of the device will be largely improved.