Microsoft officially announced its first major wearable device on Wednesday night, called “Microsoft band” which allows users to monitor their fitness and exercise regime as well as check their texts and emails. Microsoft also launched companion app for its Band, appropriately called Microsoft Health that allows users to store and combine health and fitness data on the Cloud platform.
The Band has built-in GPS and 10 sensors that can monitor heart rate, measure calorie burned, and track sleep quality. It also comes with a unique UV sensor to measure sun exposure, and a galvanic skin response measurement to purportedly help identify stress.
Unlike other wearable devices which work on a single operating system, Microsoft band is designed to work alongside iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices. Microsoft said the device will go on sale in the United States in limited quantities from Thursday for $199.
Technology giant Apple Inc launched a smart watch on Sept 9 that will combine health and fitness tracking with communications and will hit the stores in early 2015 for $349, while Samsung Electronics Co introduced its Galaxy Gear smartwatch in Sept 2013.
The Microsoft Band can operate for 48 hours on a single charge; advanced functionality like GPS will reduce battery performance. Microsoft Band offers milestones into the future that makes it easier to reach your fitness goals. As a bonus, Windows Phone users get the support of Cortana voice assistant. The Band will compete in an increasingly crowded market where the company as little or no recognition.