Posted by: kurtsh | November 24, 2014

RELEASE: Introducing Microsoft Band, the first wearable powered by Microsoft Health

Microsoft Band: Live Healthier


imageIntroducing Microsoft Band, the first wearable powered by Microsoft Health, that keeps fitness and productivity insights a glance away.

This is an AMAZING piece of hardware that contains an astonishing 8 different sensors on it:

  1. Optical heart rate monitor
  2. Accelerometer
  3. Gyrometer
  4. GPS
  5. Microphone
  6. Ambient light sensor
  7. Galvanic skin response sensors
  8. Ultraviolet sensor

I’ve had one since day 1, and it’s been revolutionary for me, but not for the reasons one might think.

  • imageCalls on Microsoft Band
    If you keep your phone in a bag or in your pocket and need to keep the ringer “silent”, Band is for you.

    Band vibrates on your wrist when an incoming call or voicemail comes in and allows you to see notification with the inbound phone number on your wrist.

    You can reply instantly with a standard quick response like “I’ll call you later” or choose one that you’ve created in the Microsoft Health app.

  • imageCalendar Notifications on Band
    If you depend on your phone for your calendar, again you’ll like this feature.

    Band vibrates when an upcoming appointment is approaching and shows you what it is on it’s screen.  For Windows Phone users, it also receives early warning notifications from Cortana to let you know when you have to hit the road to arrive at your destination on time based on current traffic.

  • imageCollecting Sleep patterns & tracking
    I have pretty severe sleep deprivation and sleep apnea.  As a result, Band’s ability to track my sleep patterns night after night is very interesting to me in making sense of the way I feel in the imagemornings.

    Immediately after waking up, I can look at my phone and it will pull up the data that my Microsoft Band collected overnight about my sleep.  This data is viewable as a history and is very useful in understanding how I should prepare for a good night’s rest.

  • Microsoft Health app GPS run mapUsing GPS Mapping
    Throughout the day, my Microsoft Band estimates my steps and distance traveled using data from its internal motion sensors (considering height, weight, age, and gender). I can improve the precision of these estimates by using the GPS sensor. My Band will use data collected during GPS-enabled run/walk sessions to better estimate my stride-length for future walks/runs.

Gizmodo had a very insightful article about Microsoft’s strategy around Band.  Here’s a hint:  It’s not about competing in the wearables market necessarily.

One thing however I do have a problem with is that it requires a proprietary cable to charge the device.  And the cable is $19.99.  So I sucked it up and bought 2 extras because depending on how you use it, the battery on the device lasts from 2-5 days between charges.

For more details on Microsoft Band, check out the press release and the press kit:


%d bloggers like this: