Microsoft has finally taken the lid off its long-rumored wearable device. It s called Microsoft Band, and it comes with both watch and fitness tracker features. Priced at $199, Microsoft Band works with Android, iOS and Windows Phone, with a sync app for Macs as well. Microsoft claims that “it’s the most advanced band we’ve seen in terms of technology on the wrist.” Also Read - Your Window PC can now run Android appsAlso Read - Windows 11 launched: Top 5 features of Windows 11 which makes it better than Windows 10
The device is essentially designed to do two things have people live healthier, and be more productive, by having a band that can serve on the opposite side of your watch, worn 24 hours a day, and get some of the most accurate data that you can possibly get, said Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft s Corporate Vice President of Devices and Services. Also Read - Windows 11 borrows Xbox Series X/S-like fast loading speeds for PC gamers
The device has a striking resemblance with Samsung s Gear Fit as well as Lenovo s upcoming wearable. Alongside Microsoft Band, the company also introduced Microsoft Health app for Windows, its own fitness hub to compete with Apple HealthKit and Google Fit. The Cloud-based service fetches information from the Microsoft Band, as well as other fitness bands and rival smartphones. Microsoft says that this feature will grow to understand your habits.
The Microsoft Band comes with 10 sensors that help it measure user s heart rate, sun exposure, and stress level among other things. The company promises 48 hours of battery life on a single charge. The device also displays notifications from your smartphone. The notifications include emails, call and text alerts, as well as access to Facebook, Twitter alongside weather and stock information.
As Microsoft points out, the biggest feature of the phone is its compatibility with other mobile platforms. We are as open as you get, Matt Barlow, GM, new devices marketing. We are iOS we are Android and we are windows phone. If you rock a Windows Phone, you will also be able to use Microsoft s digital assistant Cortana to give commands and take notes and set reminders among other things.
The other important thing is device s openness. The company is licensing the ten-sensors it has developed so that others can use them to make better products as well. The company has partnered with several fitness tracking app makers including RunKeeper, MapMyFitness as well as hardware partners like Jawbone and Starbucks for possible integrations.
“We think there are many people who are going to have brilliant ideas,” Mehdi says. “The truth is there’s all sorts of wearable tech that other people have, and our platform will be happy to accept that data, and deliver data and insights back. So with different types of wearable on your wrist, on your head, on your body who knows what the right idea is? We wanted to take the approach of saying let’s bring the industry along, and contribute.”
The company has released the app for Windows Phone, Android, and Mac App Store. The device will become available starting tomorrow for a price of $199 and will be available in three sizes. It is only available in United States for now.