Microsoft Band: A $200 Cross-Platform Fitness Tracker With 10 Sensors
Microsoft has made its fitness tracker wearable official and it is called Microsoft Band, which will work with devices running iOS, Android and, of course, Windows Phone.
Microsoft Band is a device wore on wrist that monitors your heart-rate, stress, calorie burn, and much more. It performs its functions using 10 sensors that are built inside the device.
The different sensors include UV sensor to keep track of your sun exposure, a galvanic skin response sensor to monitor stress, built-in GPS, and others. The device comes in three sizes and it will go on sale for $200.
As for the body, Microsoft Band is an 18.5-millimeter device that has sensors all over it. It is not a simple object with strap. Everything on it has a purpose so as long as you wear it, you will actually feel all the time that you are wearing it — unlike smartwatches that are designed for comfort.
It doesn’t mean that Band is not comfortable to wear. It really is, but you are always aware of its presence on your wrist.
It is built using “thermal plastic elastometer,” which makes it soft and stretchy. The screen is a tiny 1.4-inch touch display at 320 x 106 resolution. Band is powered by two 100mAh lithium-ion batteries, that are able to make device last for two days.
Microsoft Band is not a whole plan. It is one part of a plan. The real plan, called Microsoft Health, is a service to centralize all the health resources belonging to a user and make them available for consumers.
Microsoft aims to use this service to gather health-related data from different sources and provide it to the user. Using this service, the user can use any device and any platform (iOS, Android, Windows) to collect health and fitness data.
For example, you may use Apple Health Kit or any other device like Jawbone and still be able to access your data, after it has been turned into insights, using Microsoft Health service. One example of insight is that you may be able to check whether taking bath before or after dinner is good for those with blood pressure issues or not.
You may use Band with any device but to issue voice commands, you will need Windows Phone as this feature is provided via Cortana.
Band is more than just a fitness tracker and performs some of the functions that smartwatches support — it gives you notifications for texts, calls, calendar reminders, and emails etc.
Microsoft has also partnered with MyFitnessPal, MapMyFitness, RunKeeper, Jawbone, and Gold’s Gym.
Collecting the data from so many different sources, syncing it over cloud, and applying machine learning techniques to extract valuable insights from the data will surely make Microsoft Health service a useful one. Your move Apple!
Source: Microsoft Band