Microsoft's Band Wearable 'Likes' Facebook Social Challenges
An update to the Microsoft Health mobile app uses social media and a dash of peer pressure to help Band owners get fit.Microsoft has added new social features to its Health app, encouraging Band owners on Facebook to, well, band together to meet their fitness goals. Microsoft Band is a sensor-packed, fitness-centric wearable with an extensive list of health-monitoring capabilities and a smattering of productivity-enhancing features. The update, expected to roll out within the next several days, enables users to link their Facebook and Microsoft Health accounts and see which friends have already connected their accounts. Alternately, users can invite friends to join. Once everyone is onboard, they can try to one-up each other in various activities. "With Social Challenges and Leaderboards, create challenges for steps, cardio minutes, longest run or bike ride between you and your Facebook friends who also have a Microsoft Band. Challenges can be one, three, five or seven days," explained the Microsoft Devices team in a March 24 blog post. While the Band health and activity tracker provides a more full-featured experience, users can also participate using the Microsoft Health app on their iOS, Android or Windows smartphones. Minus Band, the smartphone-app combo only works for steps taken and calories burned, however, limiting the types of challenges in which these users can participate.
The features build on a February update that added a Tournament Mode for Golf setting and new social sharing options. Microsoft streamlined the Band's sharing experience, allowing users to quickly email or text their activity summaries or post them on Facebook and Twitter.