Last week we heard reports that Microsoft was working on its own wearable device, likely a smartwatch. Now the company has unveiled said device, and it’s not a smartwatch it’s a fitness tracker.
Called the Microsoft Band, the gadget is, according to Microsoft, the beginning of a multi-year vision in the health and fitness wearables industry. Likely it is being released to compete with fitness trackers from the likes of Samsung and Apple. However unlike the Apple Watch and the Gear S, Microsoft does not appear to be interested in creating a flashy smartwatch, rather it wasn’t a fashionable device devoted to monitoring users’ fitness and health.
The Band will have a two day battery life and can track details like heart-rate, how many calories you’re burning, sun exposure, and stress levels. Interestingly the device is not restricted to Microsoft’s own Windows Phone platform, and is designed to be compatible with all major systems. That makes sense considering Windows Phone only has a 4.3 per cent market share in the US market.
The Band is being launched in the US today, and will be available from Microsoft’s online store for $199 (£125 directly converted). There’s no word on a UK specific price or release date just yet, but it’s unlikely that we’ll have to wait a particularly long time for it to become available.