Microsoft finally launched its fitness tracker, the Microsoft Band, an instant hit device that it’s already sold out at the Microsoft Store online and people seem to be piling up at the Microsoft Store just to get one. The $199.99 wristband, which it shouldn’t be consider a smartwatch as Microsoft wants you to wear it in the other wrist, features ten sensors capable of tracking your workouts, calories burned, heart-rate, sleep, and it also provides alerts for Twitter, Facebook, email, messages and more.
But the Microsoft Band is just one of the key piece of Microsoft’s ambitions creating a new platform, at the same time the company also announced the Microsoft Health platform, and this is where all comes down to.
The Microsoft Health is a new platform that works in the cloud offering customers and whoever wants to build a fitness wearable or offers health related services a single secure place to store and access health data from any device using the new cross-platform app. Then the service applies machine learning technology, or Intelligence Engine (just a fancy name for their secret algorithm), to the collected health data to generate useful information for users such as: during which exercise you burned the most calories, recommended recovery time based on the workout intensity, and the amount of restful version restless sleep.
And this is just the begining, in the future, when active users start uploading data using the Microsoft Health app for Windows, Windows Phone, iOS, or Android, there will be more choices to combine your health data with calendar, email, GPS, and other variables. And the algorithm will be able to provide even more useful information, such as best time to exercise based on your schedule, if you should eat breakfast to run faster, and if too much work is impacting your sleep quality.
For those wanting to create around the Microsoft Health platform, Microsoft is licensing everything they have created, and there will be a set of APIs as well as cloud storage for new partners.
Also Microsoft didn’t just wake up and said, let’s release a wristband… The company has been working hard and it’s not alone, and it is also announcing new partners like UP by Jawbone, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper. Other partners include Gold’s Gym, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness to bring guided workouts to the Microsoft Band.
Later on you will be able to seamlessly connect your Microsoft Health data to the HeathVault to share valuable information with your doctor.
The Microsoft Band is off to a good start, for now it’s all about collecting health data to the Microsoft Health service and take advantage of Cortana (only for Windows Phone), get alerts, and just start living a little healthier. Then with time we will see how machine learning delivers on the promise to help us with our fitness life and just make us more productive.
Are you planning to get a Microsoft Band? What do you think about the wristband thus far?