O2 has announced pre-registrations for the Microsoft Band, with availability from April 15.
While the Microsoft Band can help with productivity by displaying email, calendar and message notifications, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really intended to be a fitness band rather than a smartwatch. Microsoft hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t limited the Band to just work with Windows devices: it also works with Android and iOS.
Matt Barlow, General Manager of New Devices at Microsoft said:
“We are excited to expand to an additional market, and to incorporate the feedback of more customers into our future product and service updates.
“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to thank our customers for their response to Microsoft Health and Microsoft Band thus far. Our mission is to help them live healthier and be more productive Ã¢â‚¬â€œ both through bringing our experiences to new customers, including those in the UK, and through our new partners in the US.“
The Microsoft Band is powered by MicrosoftÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new Health platform, which Windows Phone, Android and iOS users will be able to use even if they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t own a Microsoft Band. Like AppleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Health app, it collects and stores data from fitness devices (whether thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the Microsoft Band or a third-party fitness tracker like the FitBit) to offer up insights to help you live a healthier life.
The Microsoft Band tracks your heart rate, steps, calories and sleep, and feeds all of that information into the Health app. You can set goals, use the Microsoft Band to complete guided workouts, map the routes youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve run, cycled or hiked using GPS, and more.
In addition to the fitness features, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll also be able to connect your Microsoft Band to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth to get notifications such as emails, calendar alerts and text messages, which youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be able to preview. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll let you know when youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got an incoming phone call, if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got a notification from Twitter or Facebook, for example. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also a built-in timer and alarm app.
For Windows Phone 8.1 users, the Microsoft Band gives you access to Cortana from your wrist. You can ask Cortana to take a note for you, or set a reminder, for example.
Microsoft has also partnered up with third-parties to bring more compatible apps to the Microsoft Band, including Starbucks, MyfFitnesspPal, RunKeeper and more.
The 1.4in TFT full colour display is 320 x 106 pixels, at 11mm x 33mm.
Microsoft claims that the Microsoft Band will last for 48 hours of normal use, but if suggests that the extended use of GPS could make battery life suffer. However, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll only take 1.5 hours to recharge the Microsoft Band, which charges using a USB magnetic connector cable.
The Microsoft Band features lots of sensors:
- Optical heart rate sensor
- 3-axis accelerometer/gyro
- Ambient light sensor
- Skin temperature sensor
- UV sensor
- Capacitive sensor
- Galvanic skin response
This means if you happen to have an old wearable lying around the house you’ll get money off the Microsoft Band when you upgrade.
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