Microsoft Announces the Microsoft Band

So the Microsoft Band has officially been announced, with Bill Gates on lead guitar and- oh, wait, I’m confused. Oh, this is a fitness accessory? Well that’s cool too, I guess.

The Microsoft Band is available for $199 starting today, October 30th, and according to Microsoft, it’s really the cat’s pajamas as far as these things go. It’s designed to be worn 24 hours a day, opposite your wristwatch, so it can collect as much data as possible. It can work with iOS, Android, and of course Windows Phone, and it connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0. It comes in different sizes and includes a heart rate monitor and sleep tracker. It also shows notifcations so it can alert you to an incoming email, text, or call, as well as remind you of calendar appointments.

Cortana is built-in, as is a GPS and smart UV monitor. The battery, which lasts for an estimated 48 hours, is charged via magnetic USB cable. The watch is sweat and splash resistant, which is no doubt good news for those like myself who sweat profusely.

Microsoft’s goal is to help people lead healthier, more productive lives. Their Microsoft Health app sounds really useful. It’s a repository of sorts, pulling info from various fitness apps and devices and pooling it all together in one database. Microsoft Health currently supports UP by Jawbone, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal, and RunKeeper date, though more services will no doubt be added.

As someone who’s been struggling to get in shape, the idea of a fitness band is appealing. The hefty purchase alone would make me feel obligated to get my butt in gear, but the Microsoft Band looks like it would be helpful on multiple levels. If I do decide to go that route, the Microsoft Band would be at the top of my list.


via iPhone in Canada

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