Microsoft enters "crowded" health tracking market.
Microsoft launched the rumored wearable device. It is a fitness and health tracker named Microsoft Band, coming in on the high-end with a $199.99 price-tag. The Microsoft Band works with the new Microsoft Health platform. The cool thing about Microsoft Health is that it is open and not just for Microsoft wearables. The Microsoft Health platform includes a cloud service for consumers and the industry to store and combine health and fitness data to create powerful insights. Microsoft Health will be available for consumers from the new Microsoft Health app which launches today on Android, iOS and Windows Phone.
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Microsoft Health will unite data from different health and fitness devices and services in a single, secure location. Once stored in Microsoft Health, you can combine the data you generate from different devices and services – steps, calories, heart rate and more – to receive powerful insights from our Intelligence Engine. At launch, our Intelligence Engine will share insights such as:
- Which exercises burned the most calories during a workout
- The recommended recovery time based on the intensity of a workout
- The amount of restful vs. restless sleep
Over time, you will have the choice to combine your fitness data with calendar and email information from Office as well as location-based information and more. As you make more data available, the Intelligence Engine will get smarter and provide more powerful insights, such as:
- Fitness performance relative to work schedule
- Whether eating breakfast helps you run faster
- If the number of meetings during the day impacts sleep quality.
Microsoft Health is designed to benefit our partners in many ways. For new entrants and startups we have a complete offering that includes our app, and APIs as well as cloud storage for their data. Existing services can upload their data to Microsoft Health and take advantage of our advanced algorithms and the powerful machine learning from our Intelligence Engine to give their customers insights. New devices can license our 10 wrist-worn sensor modules to gather robust data including active heart rate, sleep and GPS.
Microsoft Health will work with UP by Jawbone, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper. Soon, Microsoft Health will also allow you, at your choosing, to connect your Microsoft Health data to HealthVault to share with your medical provider. We plan to have a regular cadence of Microsoft Health announcements including additional device and service partnerships, SDK availability and additional cross-platform applications and services.
The Microsoft Band, a smart band designed to be worn 24 hours a day by people who are active both in the gym and on the job. The Microsoft Band has 10 smart sensors for 24-hour heart rate monitoring, calorie burn measurement, advanced sleep quality tracking and more as well as Guided Workouts curated by Gold’s Gym, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness. The Microsoft Band will keep you connected at a glance with helpful, smart notifications including incoming calls, emails, texts and social updates as well as access to Cortana. Microsoft Band is now available in the US in limited quantities at MicrosoftStore.com and starting October 30th at Microsoft Stores for $199.
The ability to get communication notifications and the Cortana assistant make the Microsoft Band more than just a fitness tracker. This is why Microsoft charges $200 for it. Cortana only works with a Windows Phone 8.1 device.