Microsoft Announces Wearable After Early App Release

Microsoft is expected to unveil its fitness band very soon and the company appears to have leaked its new wearable a little early. A Microsoft Band Sync app has appeared in the Mac App Store today, indicating that the company’s new wearable will simply be named Microsoft Band when it debuts.

The application reveals what the Microsoft Band looks like and it’s pretty similar to Samsung’s Gear Fit with a horizontal display. There’s little other information included in the Microsoft Band Sync app listing, but the app does indicate that the band will sync its data to the cloud.

Microsoft’s fitness band will have some smartwatch features, but it will be primarily focused on fitness activities. We’re told the fitness band will track steps, heart rate, calories burned, and other key health attributes thanks to a number of sensors embedded in the device.

Microsoft has also been testing the ability to monitor heart rate through the day and night, and is expected to ship a final device that has around two days of battery life.

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Alongside the Mac App Store listing, Microsoft has also published a “Microsoft Health” Android app on Google Play. The app appears to confirm 24-hour heart rate monitoring for the Microsoft Band, and email previews and calendar alerts. “Achieve wellness goals by tracking your heart rate, steps, calorie burn, and sleep quality,” states the listing, hinting that the Microsoft Band might be part of a larger Microsoft Health initiative. A similar listing for the Windows Phone app also confirms Cortana integration for Microsoft Health, with the Band allowing you to take notes and set reminders with your voice.

Smartphone notification support appears to include email messages, calendar reminders, phone calls received, text messages, Twitter and Facebook notifications, weather, and stocks information. Microsoft’s Band will also notify owners about the weather using location information from a phone.

“There is a finite number of messages the Band will display for each notification,” reads a Microsoft description. “When more messages appear older messages are removed from the Band.” You can alter which notifications are displayed on the Band by using the Microsoft Health app to “Manage Tiles.”

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It’s not clear what operating system is powering the Microsoft Band, but early analysis on the recently released Microsoft Health apps suggests that there will be at least 132 colored background options available.

Other Twitter users have also discovered the existence of Starbucks card support, hinting that the Microsoft Band may let you pay for coffee before a workout. The Microsoft Band may also include a 310 x 102 pixel display.

The Microsoft Band’s support for Windows Phone, Android, and iOS makes it a fitness tracker that works across all major smartphone operating systems. Given the early Mac App Store listing, it’s likely Microsoft is gearing up to launch the Microsoft Band this week or next, with Microsoft Stores set to hold “fitness activities” tomorrow. The Verge reached out to Microsoft about its fitness band but the company isn’t commenting at this time.

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Article previously published on theverge

 

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