Microsoft launches cloud-based Health service, fitness band for $199
It’s official. Microsoft has forayed into the wearable market with the $199 Microsoft Band, which will work with devices running iOS, Android and, of course, Windows Phone. Along with the wristband, Microsoft has also announced its new service called Microsoft Health.
According to the Microsoft website, Health is a cloud-based service that gathers data from all your fitness devices and apps you are currently using. Microsoft claims that the service uses this data to provide insights on your health. For example, how long your body needs to recover before your next training session or how how well you slept in the night. One of the key benefits of this service is that it’s not restricted to the kind of device you are using. It can take data from smartwatches, mobile phones and even desktops and stores it in one place.
Microsoft has tied up with fitness service providers such as Gold’s Gym, My Fitness Pal, RunKeeper and Map My Fitness to help you keep a track of your progress. It also claims it can collate all your health information from other apps and bring it into one place, though we can’t tell how well it does this. As of now, both Apple Healthkit and Google Fit are facing issues integrating with third-party fitness apps properly.
Microsoft claims the Band lets you track your daily physical activity and review your stats with a glance at your wrist. It also claims to guide you to improved wellness by constantly learning about you, your current fitness level, and your future needs.
The Band comes with a choice of guided workouts, which Microsoft claims has been designed by experts. Plus, it offers 24-hour heart rate tracking, sleep tracking and GPS tracking to help you keep a tab on your physical activity.
Microsoft Band comes with features that are not restricted just to health. Once connected with your smartphone, it displays incoming calls, texts, social updates, weather, finance, and other app notifications without needing to pull out your phone. You can set an alarm, keep reminders and monitor your email using the wearable device. Windows Phone users can also make use of the voice-assistant Cortana for giving voice commands to the Microsoft Band.