ms band

Microsoft this morning unveiled its long-rumored wearable: the Microsoft Band. With a design resembling Samsung’s Gear Fit, the fitness-tracking wristband features 10 sensors, supports all major mobile platforms, and integrates with Microsoft’s new cloud-based Health service.

Interestingly enough, Microsoft decided to skip any kind of media event or press release, opting instead to reveal the device to Recode following the discovery of new Health apps on iOS and Android last night. So was this meant to downplay an insignificant launch? Let’s find out.

ms band 2

The Band’s display is a 1.4″ TFT capacitive touch panel with a resolution of 320 x 106, and it’s powered by dual 100mAh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer batteries that are expected to provide around 48 hours of normal use. Microsoft says a full charge takes less than 1.5 hours.

As for the device’s 10 sensors, there’s an optical heart rate sensor, a 3-axis accelerometer/gyro, a gyrometer, a built-in GPS module, ambient light, UV and capacitive sensor, and two sensors for measuring skin temperature and “galvanic skin response” (used in lie detector tests).

Other hardware includes a microphone, a haptic vibration motor, and a Bluetooth 4.0 LE chip. This allows the band to talk to a number of devices—all iPhone models after the 4S (as long as they have iOS 7.1 or later), some Android phones, and of course Windows Phone 8.1 devices.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEvjulEJH9w

All of this comes together to make a device that has the usual smartwatch features—exercise and sleep tracking, push notifications, and voice commands, and some unique ones. The Band can do things that others can’t, such as customized workout routines, and pay for Starbucks.

While nothing individually stands out here (the skin sensors are interesting), the combined package is pretty impressive—particularly at this price. The Microsoft Band will go on sale Thursday for $199, and will be available for purchase at Microsoft’s physical and online stores.

[Recode]

  • Jeffrey

    UGLY. AS. HEYAL.

    • George

      if this is ugly what is the iwatch?

      • Dan

        non-existant… there is no iWatch, it’s called the Apple Watch.

        Tollololololol

      • Umut Bilgiç

        Apple watch looks way better than this if you ask me

      • Jeffrey

        Also ugly, but I didn’t say it wasn’t ugly? I honestly rather have an Apple Watch than this piece of crap though. But yeah, the Apple Watch is very ugly too.

  • Dan

    The info is all facing the wrong way.. I wouldn’t be able to use this on my wrist, how does Microsoft think….

    • Chang in Charge

      Yeah this makes no sense Samsung already made this mistake with the display facing the wrong way

      • sshadowssin

        It appears as though the display is meant to be worn on the anterior part of the wrist. If you look at the part of your wrist, normally facing you as you walk, the info is perfectly lined up for your viewing pleasure.

      • Chang in Charge

        Maybe its just me but that seems weird, glancing at something on the underside of my wrist. I still don’t think its meant to be worn this way. I think they meant for the display to be on the posterior. Either way you wear it still seems like a poor choice.

      • sshadowssin

        After viewing Their video, I noticed it shows everyone wearing the display on the anterior. It makes more sense for the display orientation.

    • Lucas Tres

      Pretty sure that with all those sensors it can turn the screen to the direction you’re looking at.

      • Umut Bilgiç

        No bro it is horizental. You have to look at your wrist at a weird angle..

      • James G

        Tilt your head and look at your monitor. Is it still hard to read a line of text?

      • Umut Bilgiç

        It is definetly not, but it is just..unnecessary. It is friction. Would you read a newspaper sideways just because it is not that hard than reading it normally? Maybe only if viewing the content allowed for some amazing things but in this case the sideways display does not bring anything great – as a tradeoff – other than bulky strip aesthetics.

    • ericesque

      You’re not going to be reading paragraphs of text on this thing. If you can’t read a line of 3 or 4 words at a slight angle, this watch is too smart for you.

  • @dongiuj

    I think it’s the best wearable device EVER and NOTHING will ever come close to it, mark my words. NEEEEEVEEEEERRRRRR, I tell you!
    Now give me those up votes.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Interesting..

  • jack

    big ass watch

    • @dongiuj

      There’s no “s” in “apple”.

      • Jeffrey

        Apples

  • onesimpleclik

    slim & simple, with loads of sensors, a handful of useful features, for a decent price. haven’t worn a watch in over a decade, but i wouldn’t mind wearing something like this at all, i think it looks nice 🙂

    • I agree! I plan on looking at the specs today in more detail but it looks pretty good. And the price point is perfect! This is what the apple watch should have started at.

  • Hmmm, SmartWatches are slowly gaining on the unique features that I couldn’t do on my SmartPhone…still not tempting.