We knew a Microsoft wearable was imminent, with rumours concerning the supposed fitness tracker ranging from believable to ridiculous.
The tech giant has thankfully put all the speculation to rest by finally unveiling the device, entitled the Microsoft Band.
Following the release of the Microsoft Health app on iOS, Android and Windows Phone app stores yesterday, it became increasingly clear that a wearable was incoming.
The multi-platform launch of the Microsoft Health app confirms at least one of the rumours; that the Microsoft Band is a multi-platform device.
Looking at the device, it is now also clear that some of the design rumours (stating that the wearable would carry a display on the inside to shield it from view) were false. As you can see in the image above , this is a rather traditional looking fitness tracker.
Designed by Quentin Morris (the brain behind the Xbox One controller), the Microsoft Band looks like a cross between the Samsung Gear Fit and Nike FuelBand.
Like many other wearables of its ilk, the Microsoft Band comes with fitness tracking features that can monitor a user’s heart rate, stress levels, steps and sleep quality. Additionally, it avoids the major criticism directed at wearables (in particular the Apple Watch) as Microsoft claims it can last up to 48 hours on a single charge. The Microsoft Band will also notify users of incoming calls, texts, emails, calendar alerts and social media updates by partnering with their smartphone.
The device’s specs include a 1.4-inch 320 x 106 colour display, GPS Bluetooth 4.0 LE, dual 100 mAh batteries and dust and water resistance.
The multi-platform capability of the Band is a wise move on Microsoft’s part as it allows it to work with iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices – meaning you’re not tethered to a specific platform like you would be with an Android Wear smartwatch or the Apple Watch.
Additionally, the Microsoft Health app also has the ability to collect data across platforms via cloud capability. Microsoft has already made the app compatible with Android phones and the accelerometer in the Apple iPhone 6. The firm is also working on syncing its service with the likes of Jawbone, Runkeeper and MyFitnessPal.
The Microsoft Band is priced at $199 and will be available directly from Microsoft in the US later today.