I’m a fan of smart wearable devices. I’ve yet to own one, but unlike a lot of people (like Geoff), I actually see the value in having a watch or smart band everywhere I go. I guess it’s because most of the common features are ones I would use, especially when it comes to health and fitness tracking. That’s why I’m already very excited about Microsoft’s entry into the smart wearable tech market.
The Microsoft Band is a new, cross-platform smart band that will launch in the USA today. Along with the device, Microsoft also revealed a new health based cloud service called Microsoft Health, which works hand-in-hand with the device. Unlike Apple’s HealthKit or Google’s Fitbit though, Microsoft Health will be available on all platforms. That really makes the Microsoft Band something that competes with other fitness devices rather than Samsung’s Gear range or the upcoming Apple Watch. The Band features a 310 x 102 res display, which is able to relay information such as your heart rate, running route and even UV exposure levels straight to your wrist.
The genius comes with the Band’s “Intelligence Engine”, which is able to automatically tell you which workouts burned the most calories and how well you’ve been sleeping. The best part is the built-in GPS though, which will allow you to go on runs or perform workouts without the phone needing to be nearby for data tracking.
No word yet on availability outside of the USA, but that should come fairly soon. The Band will retail for $200 in the States, making it a useful but rather expensive fitness accessory. Although, the built-in GPS and cross-platform support already make it far more interesting than most other smart wearables on the market now.
Last Updated: January 4, 2017