This year around, it seems like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has a new strategy. It’s a new venture, focused on customer’s fitness regime. This might come as a surprise for many, but Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is launching its new wristband that works in coordination with iOS, Android and Windows phone.
The officials at Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) said that they are introducing this wearable as a way to demonstrate how it can convert a pile of personal data into useful information. The data is collected through sensors and translated on to the cloud. For this purpose, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has launched its very first Health app and Band smart watch, which comes embedded with 10 different sensors.
But is it as big a deal as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) wants us to believe? When put to test, the results weren’t as outstanding as expected.
- The accelerometer based step counter worked perfectly fine, just like any other phone or cheap wearable.
- The heart rate sensor when put to test, produced inaccurate results. The elliptical machine reported heart rate at 105 beats per minute to 208 beats per minute, in a single session. This reading indicates a range from a point of being very relaxed to collapsing. Whereas the elliptical showed heart rate between 150 and 160 beats per minute, throughout the work out.
- The GPS function only picks up routes when jogging, not on a bike or skates.
- Additional features include UV sensors, which helps to determine whether there is a need for sunscreen or not, and also a galvanic skin response senor, with unknown functions.
All these functions might be useful, if there was more to it than just collecting data. But at this stage, the interpretation is lost and it only contributes to draining out the battery very quickly. At this point, users have noted that a full charge lasts around 36 hours and there is no warning indication for low battery.
With regards to the band’s physical appearance and comfort level, users have complained that it isn’t very comfortable to wear, and gets scratched easily.
On the other hand, the app itself is lively, if compared with Apple (NASDAQ:APPL)’s boring health interface. It is made up of active tiles and slide out menus, as well as graphic displays. The home page is made up of step counting and calorie burning set objectives, and show user workout and sleep patterns. The next page gives a feedback on these patterns, which are quite useful for serious trainers. The third page helps find a work out that could cater to specific user needs. It shows live videos and exercise details, but if a user wanted a virtual trainer, there are several options to choose from.
The last on its list of offerings is the ability to sync user health data with RunKeeper or MyFitnessPalm and create a Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) profile. Within the next six months, the company will launch a website where the user profiles will be updated and they can seek advice regarding their health routine online.