With Microsoft‘s event yesterday, we were introduced to a trove of devices poised to hurl Microsoft into the homes, hands and faces of millions around the world. As Microsoft released the HoloLens, Lumia 950 and 950XL, the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book, we also saw with the Microsoft Band second gen.
The Microsoft Band released this week is the second coming to the original Microsoft Band first released in October 2014, which didn‘t do too well. The Microsoft Band is a smart band with an ergonomic curved full colour OLED screen with 320×120 pixels and a silicone strap. The Band 2 does everything that the previous Band did, and more. It has a heart rate monitor, calculates your calories burnt and checks sleep quality. Microsoft have crammed this smart band with as many as 11 sensors including GPS, a UV monitor, a barometer, a microphone for Cortana and a VO2 max sensor which can tell you the amount of oxygen used in a workout. The Microsoft Band will also do everything you would expect from a smart wearable, such as notifications for email, text and calls on the go. The Band communicates with your smart phone using Bluetooth 4.0 and has a battery life of 48hrs and charge time of about 1.5 hours.
The Microsoft Band will represent all its stats on the Microsoft Health app, capable of showing you all the information these 11 sensors are calculating. The Band provides support for 3rd party apps such as Uber, Subway and Starbucks for when you need to grab a bite and drink mid run. As Microsoft put more and more into this device, they haven‘t forgotten Cortana, who can be called upon while using the band. She never seems to be too far away.
After Google and Apple‘s event a few months ago, Microsoft seem to be coming out with something to prove. At $249 the Microsoft Band certainly has a hard task ahead with companies like Jawbone, Fitbit and Garmin, but perhaps the ecosystem can prove to be worth the investment. I do believe the Microsoft Band has something none of them can provide: everything.