Microsoft’s first wearable wasn’t what you’d call a success. It also notified you about incoming text messages and social media messages.
Oh, and that new, curved display? The golf tracking features of the wearable also received their fair share of time in the spotlights. This change in design addresses the most common complaint of the original, which is that it felt too rigid and a bit awkward with its flat display.
We took the Microsoft Band 2 for a brief spin at the launch event in NYC and watched a few intrepid fitness freaks jogging along on treadmills while wearing the device. Other sensors include heart rate, accelerometer, gyrometer, GPS, light, temperature, UV, capacitive, galvanic skin response, and microphone. But getting a closer look at Band 2 helped convince me that Microsoft has something brewing inside this little wearable, but it’s not quite there yet. Apple’s first new gadget under Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is debuting in eight countries and Hong Kong for previews, with shipments scheduled to start April 24. Microsoft will accept pre-orders starting Tuesday. And its compatibility is similar to the first device, so it should work with iOS and Android as well as Microsoft’s own Lumia devices. However, they are similar in design. Microsoft’s Band 2 has been designed for all season athletes as well as people who opt to stay in shape and workout everyday.
With new partnerships in play, Microsoft Health is being integrated with a raft of third party apps and services and the platform is able to soak in all the data from the various sources to give a detailed outlook of your activities. When connected to a Windows device, Cortana commands can also be issued directly from Band, making it possible to send messages and set reminders with just your voice. But, Golf could be where the Microsoft Band really infiltrates the market.
If you’re a golfer, the new Band has automatic shot detection, and will generate an automatic scorecard for you at the end of your round. I did a clean install of the OS into a virtual machine and so went through all the initial setup screens. The new Band gains an additional sensor, a barometer, bringing the total number to 11 (it retains all the sensors found in the original).
The Band will hit store shelves on October. 30. Instead, Fitbit and other fitness trackers were the popular device for your wrist.