Development of a Windows 8-based smartwatch by Microsoft Corp. is reported to have reached the prototype stage.

Among the early details surfacing about the device is that it will be encased in a translucent aluminum case that is 80 per cent transparent but four times harder than glass.

Furthermore, the device will not rely entirely on Bluetooth technology to connect to a smart phone as other smartwatches do. The Windows 8 smart watch will use an embedded LTE wireless chip to communicate with a smart phone.

The device will also have 6GB of internal storage.

Earlier reports indicate that Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT) was previously reported to be taking bids from manufacturers for a 1.5-inch display.

Some analysts have expressed skepticism that a large market for smartwatches would emerge. However, Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE) one of the early manufacturers of a version of the wearable computing device, predicts that some 41 million smart watches will be sold by 2016.

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)is also reported to be rushing the production of its own iWatch product.

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