Out of nowhere, Microsoft has announced that its first wearable device, the Microsoft Band, is now available for purchase starting today.
The company made the announcement after reports surfaced that the new Microsoft Health app (which is designed to work with the Microsoft Band) appeared not only in the Windows Store, but also in the Google Play Store and in Apple's App Store. The Microsoft Band comes with a retail price of $199.
The Microsoft Band is designed primarily for all kinds of fitness tracking needs. Thus, the first of Microsoft's line of wearable devices is equipped with ten separate sensors, which should help users track every fitness related data -- from the number of steps taken when brisk walking to the distance covered on a morning jog, from heart rate to the level of ultraviolet light exposure, and so many others.
When used together with Microsoft Health series of apps, the Microsoft Band should give its users an all-encompassing profile of their current health and fitness level. If Microsoft's debut wearable device takes off, it might possibly give the Apple Watch a run for its money.
The Microsoft Heath app is easily available for either iOS or Android devices, even Windows Phone devices. What it does is gather information from the Microsoft Band itself and from other health and fitness tracking apps used by consumers, e.g. MapMyFitness, RunKeeper. The data collected is then collated in the Microsoft Health cloud service, making it easily accessible by the users.
Despite its impressive fitness tracking features, the Microsoft Band is also capable of more. For instance, the wearable device can show notifications for calls and text messages. It can also support the Cortana digital assistant for Windows Phone. If you are not a Windows Phone user, no need to worry -- using Bluetooth technology, the Microsoft Band can be used with any smartphone, as long as it is running on at least Android 4.4 or iOS 7.1.
Aside from notifications, the Microsoft Band can also display weather information, calendar, stock trading data, email messages, and of course, social media alerts. The wearable device also supports the Starbucks loyalty card.
As for its hardware, the Microsoft Band comes with a 1.4-inch touchscreen display, with a 320 by 106 resolution. The wearable device is powered by a pair of 100 mAh batteries capable of lasting up to 48 hours of normal usage. Additionally, the Microsoft Band is both dust- and water-resistant.
Wirefly Is America's Most Trusted Source For All Cell Phones, Plans, TV, and Internet Deals
Wirefly offers great deals on a large selection of smartphones, cell phones, tablets, mobile hotspots, and other wireless devices for the nation's most popular carriers. Use Wirefly’s innovative cell phone and plan comparison tools to ensure you are getting the best deal on the market. Shop with confidence knowing that Wirefly wants to help you find the best prices on cell phones, cell phone plans, TV, and Internet service.