Microsoft today announced the successor the Microsoft Band.
Introduced by Microsoft’s Lindsay Matese, the new Microsoft Band features an attractive new design and an OLED screen that is better optimized for touch interactions.
Like its predecessor, the new Band is able to track things like sleep cycles, calorie intake and heart rate. The wearable is also able to provide guided workouts, and users can customize how it delivers notifications — there’s deeper integration with Cortana, too. Additionally, Microsoft added a barometer to the wearable that is able to track changes in elevation in real-time.
The device is also able to measure VO2 max, the maximum amount of oxygen a person’s body can process in a minute. Normally, tracking this facet of fitness requires specialized equipment — if you’ve ever seen a video of an athlete running on a treadmill with an oxygen mask covering their face, then you’ve probably seen the type of equipment that is required to track VO2 max — but the new Band is able to track this with its suite of sensors. According to Matese, the new Band is the only wearable on the market that is able to do this.
After talking about the device, Matese demoed Microsoft Health, a cloud fitness platform that ties together the experience. The program gives new Band users immediate access to all the data the device is capable of tracking. For instance, Matese said it was possible to see every single run and night of sleep she’s had while wearing the new Band. The platform is Microsoft’s attempt to provide users with health data that is useable and applicable to their daily routine.
The Microsoft Band will retail in Canada for $329.99. The wearable will be available to pre-order in select Canadian markets on October 6, with full retail availability coming later on November 20.