Nokia's Promising Moonraker Smartwatch Project Was Axed In Favor Of Microsoft Band Wearable
Well, look what the cat dragged in. It appears that the folks over at Nokia were well on their way towards releasing a smartwatch that would have competed in a market that is starting to swell with Tizen-, Android Wear-, and watchOS-based offerings. However, Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services division in 2014 put an end to what was known internally as project Moonraker.
Although most know Moonraker as the 1979 film starring Roger Moore as James Bond, Nokia’s Moonraker was actually a colorful smartwatch that looks similar in design to Sony’s Smartwatch 3. Existence of Moonraker was first discovered by serial leaker Evan Blass, who discovered a Tumblr page featuring the device that was attributed to Microsoft Design employee Pei-Chi Hsieh.
The artwork found on the Tumblr page (which has since been taken down) shows a smartwatch (which was to be made available in black, green, and orange) that features a UI similar in concept to the Metro interface found in Windows Phone. The images show that Moonraker had phone, email, messaging, and calendar capabilities along with Facebook and MixRadio capabilities. There’s even an app would have allowed the smartwatch to function as a camera remote for your smartphone.
However, Moonraker was never able to blast into orbit, as Microsoft decided to abort the launch. In its place, Microsoft decided to launch its “Band” which is more of a fitness wearable than a true smartwatch. It’s a shame, because it appears that Moonraker would have been a credible entry into the smartwatch market, although it’s a real possibility that we may see some of the design characteristics (or at least the different color options) extended to Microsoft’s second generation Band.