Microsoft has finally hopped on the Wearables bandwagon and has introduced their fitness/activity tracker called the Microsoft Band.(clever.. we know)It actually looks decent and sleek, and features a slender style with a tiny display that carries the Metro UI style boxes we have come to know from Microsoft products like Windows 8.1 PC’s The Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and their Windows phone devices. Alongside the Microsoft Band, Microsoft also launched their new fitness application called Microsoft Health, which is definitely a windows based smartphone app, but surprisingly will also work on Android devices too, so that users can pair their phones with the band.
The Microsoft Band will work with Android devices, but it will carry more features if you’re using a Windows based smartphone. The most obvious here is the Cortana personal assistant that Microsoft has been advertising pretty heavily lately. It tracks things like steps taken, sleep times, calories burned, miles, and heart rate and feeds the information back to you via the Microsoft Health application. If you have a thing for Starbucks and use their app paired with a Gold Card, the Microsoft Band will also pop the barcodes up on the display so you can scan them from your wrist instead of pulling out your phone to do so, making paying for your coffee a little more quick and painless. The band will cost you $199 if you’re interested, and can be picked up either from Microsoft’s online store or from the physical Microsoft retail locations.
The Microsoft Health app will allow you to interface seamlessly with the band, and no matter what device you have the app, just like the band, will be compatible. It even supports Android Wear at launch, giving you the ability to see your fitness data as the app analyzes every little detail from calories burned to how long of a distance ran. Microsoft has engineered the app to take in data from all your used devices, which they state will end up giving you a more “holistic and insightful” view on your health and wellness. If you were considering picking up a fitness tracker like one of the new Fitbit devices(the Fitbit Charge, or Charge HR)consider taking a look at the Microsoft Band first.