Football team Real Madrid has struck a rather unlikely partnership with software giant Microsoft.
Under the deal, Microsoft will be Real Madrid’s technological partner and provide digital services to the club across a number of devices including PCs, tablets, smartphones and so-called “smart shirts”.
Microsoft is staying schtum about the financial implications of the partnership but did say a number of different technological developments will be rolled out in the next few months.
This, said Microsoft, will make Real Madrid the best digital football club in the world.
Newly hatched Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a prepared statement that it is “delighted” to offer digital tools to Real Madrid supporters across the world.
Orlando Ayala (pictured right) who runs emerging markets at Microsoft said the agreement was a start of long journey and his firm will build a digital platform for Madridistas to share their passion for the football team.
A survey from Gartner said that less wearable electronic devices for fitness will ship in 2015 because of confusion in the marketplace.
While 70 million wearables will ship in 2014, that figure will fall to 68 million next year.
That is because the entry of smartwatches into the marketplace will have overlap in functionality.
But the figure is set to rise again in 2016 because lower cost machines will be available along with a variety of different designs.
The push to get people to use fitness wearables is being funded by a number of industry giants including Qualcomm, Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Nike and Intel.
Gartner sys the five main form factors are smart wristbands, sports watches, other fitness monitors, heart rate monitor chest straps and so called smart clothes.
This last category has the biggest potential for growth, according to Gartner and so-called “smart shirts” are no becoming available. The research firm didn’t say whether the next step will be “smart pants”.
While smartwatches will come in many different price range, those costing $150 or over are likely to include accelerometers and gyroscopes but unlike health wristbands will have to tell the time and have the capacity to send and receive texts.