Microsoft’s Band fitness band could be getting a makeover with a new curved display and other improvements as the company prepares to unveil an assortment of new devices at its upcoming Oct. 6 press event.
Microsoft is expected to announce the sleeker, curved-display Microsoft Band 2 fitness band at the event, ushering in key changes for the Band line, according to a Sept. 21 article in Tech Times.
Several leaked images that were posted on the Internet showed a curved display that will better fit a wearer’s wrist, along with a more modern appearance, the report stated. “The images also show what seems to be a metallic finish around the display, possibly to give the device a more premium look. It appears Microsoft has also decided to throw in a couple of buttons on the side of the display to help users navigate the device’s elongated display more easily. The battery is also believed to have been moved from the sides of the display to underneath it.”
The upcoming device will also reportedly gain the ability to track elevation, so that users can track stair climbing or walking or running up hills, the story said. The upcoming product will also reportedly be available in other countries outside the United States.
The Oct. 6 Microsoft press event is slated to showcase Windows 10 and the devices that will be running it in the coming months, according to an earlier eWEEK report. The company will likely share the stage with some of its vendor partners to allow them to show what they are planning to introduce in advance of the holiday shopping season. Microsoft will make its share of significant announcements.
Perhaps just as important as unveiling what vendors have planned, Microsoft’s long-awaited Surface Pro 4 is likely to make an entrance, and there is talk of a new Microsoft-branded line of smartphones that could debut at the event.
Microsoft’s original Band was unveiled in October 2014 for $199 to battle it out with fitness bands from competitors, including Sony, Samsung, Fitbit and others.
The Microsoft Band is available in three sizes—small, medium and large—and includes features such as continuous heart rate monitoring, calorie burn measurement, sleep quality tracking and notifications for calls, emails, texts and social media updates. Users can also receive guided workouts and run mapping via GPS using their Microsoft Band. The device works with the Microsoft Health app, available on Windows Phone, iOS and Android so that it can function with just about any smartphone that a user owns.
Microsoft phone users who link their smartphones to their Band can use Microsoft’s Cortana electronic personal assistant to take notes or set reminders using voice or to get driving directions and updates on traffic, sports, stocks, weather and more.
The Microsoft Band, which has a 1.4-inch touch-screen display, was developed over the last several years by a team of engineers and helps fill a new product category within the company, according to Microsoft. The security-enhanced Microsoft Health platform, which stores and analyzes all of the data from the devices, was also created. Microsoft Health can unite data from different health and fitness devices and services into one secure location for users, according to Microsoft.
The platform also works with other apps, including UP by Jawbone, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper. The Band is designed to be worn 24 hours a day and includes 10 smart sensors for monitoring a user’s activities and health.