Microsoft announced its anticipated wearable device, the $199 ‘Band’, as part of a wider healthcare push from the US giant.
The company said that Microsoft Band has 10 smart sensors “for 24-hour heart rate monitoring, calorie burn measurement, advanced sleep quality tracking and more”. It will also offer smart notifications including incoming calls, emails, texts and social updates, as well as supporting Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant.
But Microsoft’s entry into the wearables space is a lot more cautious than its rivals: the device will initially be available “in the US in limited quantities” via Microsoft’s stores.
The debut comes in line with the introduction of Microsoft’s Health proposition, which includes cloud services for consumers and the industry to “store and combine health and fitness data to create powerful insights.”
As with Apple’s HealthKit, the plan is to integrate with third-party services and devices to provide a fuller health ecosystem. This includes another wearable – Up by Jawbone – as well as apps MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper.
And reflecting Microsoft’s desire to improve its mobile reach, the proposition is not confined to its own Windows Phone platform – Android and iOS are also supported.
Microsoft said it plans “a regular cadence of Microsoft Health announcements including additional device and service partnerships, SDK availability and additional cross-platform applications and services”.