Microsoft Band Equipped With Virtual Keyboard
Microsoft had been toying around with smartwatch keyboards for Android Wear, and is now moving to shift the technology to its own Band hardware.
That is why Microsoft Band is now becoming particularly useful for Windows Phone users, as it now comes equipped with a Cortana-powered dictation mode to reply to texts and an additional virtual keyboard. It works just like a QWERTY keyboard, but has been integrated with Microsoft’s Word Flow software from the Windows Phone to detect letters and words correctly.
The keyboard is only offered to Windows Phone users for now. You can tap on letters and swipe right to check the result, which show the words so they can be deleted or swapped. It is specifically useful in public, where screaming “I am out of diapers for Ben!” is not preferred as much as simply being able to type the message instead of.
Voice dictation, however, can prove aidful as well, for instance if your hands are busy with Ben’s diapers. The words are displayed on the screen just like they would if typed with a keyboard, and you can eve edit and delete them before hitting send. Pre-specified text responses are still available, if you don’t feel like using keyboard or your voice.
However, as beneficial as it may sound, typing on a 1.4 inch keyboard may raise reservations for thick thumbed users. But for quick responses and voice aided typing, it is still a pretty good accessory. It is simple to use and not cluttered.
Microsoft has also added a bike mode “Bike Tile” to its Band, through which you can track bike rides indoors or outdoors. The mode monitors your heart rate, ride elevation, and speed while you’re riding. Another feature in the update is of allowing third party apps on its fitness tracker. These will be used by apps which will run on the data being sent by the Band’s sensors.
Satya Nadella is on a roll, and this step towards health and wearable integration certainly looks like it.