October 30, 2014 Leave a comment
Microsoft’s new smartwatch, the Band, boasts that it will “know you better than yourself [and] help you be a better human”, according to a Microsoft blog post. The Band is similar to the fitness band by Nike, the Fuelband, in both form and function. Both the Nike Fuelband and the Microsoft Band are sleek, slim, and offer a lot of information about your health.
What exactly does the Band do? Here’s a brief list of the functionality garnered from Microsoft’s blog post.
- It monitors your heart rate
- It tracks your location with GPS, allowing you to map your runs or bike trips.
- It monitors incoming UV levels and determines when you need to wear sunscreen.
- It can access workout guides from various sources to supplement your workout.
- It shows you how many calories you are burning.
- It measures your sleep quality.
- The Band can be synced with your smartphone, whether iOS, Android, or Windows, to display your calendar appointments, emails, and text messages.
- And of course it can tell you the time—it is a watch after all.
This is Microsoft’s first stab at creating a smartwatch, and it appears they have done a solid job. They should be commended for the cross-platform functionality, though this is become more and more a standard rather than a bonus.
Microsoft appears to be using the same tactics with the Band that HTC did when they announced their new camera the RE earlier this season. Both of these devices claim to allow you to “live in the moment.” The RE accomplishes this by eliminating its viewfinder, while the Band lets you “leave you phone in your pocket and miss nothing.”
With already crowded smartwatch and fitness band markets, Microsoft must be confident that their Band, and its ability to let you live in the moment, will be special enough to succeed.
The Band is currently available online and in stores and is priced at $199.