Microsoft unveiled the Band - a new fitness tracking wearable that goes on sale tomorrow for $199 in the US. The device offers 24-hour heart rate tracking, Cortana integration, mobile payments, and more.
It looks really sleek and simple. Rubber matte band is connected to a tiny plastic body with a rectangular touchscreen and physical buttons. Inside, there are 10 sensors that can track your heart rate, step, sleep, and general activity. Additionally, thanks to some sensors that are unique for the Microsoft Band, the device can measure UV exposure and stress level.
The Band is more than just a fitness tracker, though. It allows you to view notifications from your phone and talk to Cortana - your virtual assistant that can call your girlfriend, set up a calendar appointment, or tell you what's the tallest building in the world. The device has a battery that easily lasts 48 hours on a single charge (or that's what Microsoft says).
Along with the Band, Microsoft announced a brand new cloud-based service named Microsoft Health, which analyzes the data collected by the fitness tracker. It comes with a companion application available on Windows Phone, iOS, and Android. The app allows you to see your health results as well as customize the Band.
Sounds great, doesn't it? Unfortunately, there is a catch. At the moment the Band is a U.S. only device and you only can get it through the Microsoft Store. Global availability has not been disclosed yet.