Microsoft Outs its Fitness Wearable with 10 Sensors Onboard
Microsoft has just listed its new fitness offering on its official website. ‘Microsoft Band’ will go on sale today for $199 at the company’s online and physical stores, for US customers only, and in ‘limited quantities’.
Microsoft Band is a 10-sensor fitness tracker which would last two days on a charge, according to the company. In addition to the obvious optical heart rate monitor, which is evident on the design itself, the new Microsoft’s wearable includes a UV sensor to keep track of your sun exposure, a galvanic skin response sensor to measure stress, and a built-in GPS.
Designed by Quentin Morris (who also developed the Xbox One controller), it comes with 18.5 mm band, which is made up of thermoplastic elastomer making it soft and quite stretchy. It has got a 1.4-inch touchscreen display with 320×106 resolution and is powered by two 100mAh lithium-ion batteries.
The new fitness band is a part of Microsoft’s Health initiative to track and analyze world’s health data and is also just one way to collect it. It is to be noted that the company has opened it up for use on devices and platforms built by others. Microsoft plans to let people use the Health app with other personal trackers.
Also, not only is the device cross-platform ready, it is said that Microsoft will look for other companies (maybe Samsung, HTC, Pebble, Fitbit) to make their devices Microsoft Health compatible. That way, they can sync into the data and notifications immediately, all powered by the Microsoft backend.
One of the main highlights of this device is that it comes with a microphone to issue voice commands to Cortana. However, it will only work if you pair the band to a Windows Phone device. In addition to that, the Microsoft Band will be able to perform usual task of Smartwatches such as e-mail messages, calendar reminders, phone calls, Twitter and Facebook notifications, weather and stock information.
Microsoft has already partnered with major health-related service providers such as Jawbone, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper. Another feature that the company has added is its ability to share data from the HealthVault with your medical provider. Microsoft is aiming for folks active both at work and in the gym and according to them, they have come up with a perfect system for such consumers.