Microsoft has jumped into the current wearables fray with the introduction of Microsoft Band. The company also rolled out Microsoft Health, its new cloud-based health tracking platform.
Both Health and the Band are compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
Health promises to route data from wearable fitness trackers and applications like MapMyFitness and RunKeeper through Microsoft’s cloud-based “Intelligence Engine” in order to provide “actionable insights.” That means users will be able to generate charts and graphs that detail how many calories specific exercises burn, how well you slept, how long you should rest between training sessions, etc.
The Band, priced at $200, provides GPS, 24-hour heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, Cortana support, and notifications via its touch-enabled display. The water-resistant wearable comes in three sizes and should get 48 hours of use out of one full charge.
The Band also packs a UV monitor that tracks UV amounts and provides real-time measurement of acceptable levels. The Band can access suggests fitness plans put together by Gold’s Gym and can also store a Starbucks gift card so users can pay for a latte with their Band.
Microsoft Health is not unlike similar fitness tracking hubs from Apple and Google. But it’s important that the Band works with Android, iOS and Windows. Windows Phone doesn’t occupy near enough of the mobile ecosystem to support an exclusively compatible wearable.