1. onlysublime's Avatar
    For those that have not been following the tech rumors on the upcoming Microsoft smartwatch, especially the latest rumors from GearLive who talked about running into a tester in NYC who had the watch, I compiled the articles from different sites. I was already excited about the fitness aspects because I wanted to get a FitBit band but now I'll wait, especially for the potential for Xbox gaming!

    • It is not trying to be a traditional watch form factor but rather like the fitness bands out there. Microsoft has gone with a slim band design that is said to resemble a thinner, flatter version of the Nike Fuelband (pictured below). The closest analogies are the Nike Fuel Band and Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit.

      Nike Fuel Band

      Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit
    • The Microsoft watch/band will have a full-color touch screen that is about the size of half a stick of gum, positioned on the inside of the wearer’s wrist. The unorthodox screen-placing appears to be aimed at making it easier and more private to view notifications.
    • There are 11 sensors under the hood. It has a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS, and most interestingly, a galvanic skin response sensor all built-in. The galvanic skin response sensor is built into the watch band, while everything else is built into the unit itself.
    • Microsoft in 2012 was also rumored to be working on a wearable fitness accessory that tied with the Kinect Play Fit service, codenamed Joule. Then in March of this year the company reportedly spent $150 million on IP-related patents for headsets and a watch-like device from the Osterhout Design Group. It now appears that Microsoft is working on a device worn on the wrist, and one that’s aimed at a much wider market: any fitness enthusiast with a smartphone, not just a device that works with the Kinect or Windows.
    • Still, early indications suggest the smartwatch may already be a step ahead from current fitness trackers like the Gear Fit, which requires users to turn on its heart-rate monitor. Microsoft’s device will track continuous heart rate over the course of a person’s day, sources say.
    • The display shows Metro-style icons similar to what is seen with Windows 8/8.1, Windows Phone 8/8.1, and Xbox One.
    • It uses Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy is how it interacts with the rest of the world.
    • It works across all major platforms including Windows 8/8.1, Windows Phone 8/8.1, Xbox One, Android, and iOS/OS X. It also uses open APIs. So no matter what platform you own, the Microsoft watch will be fully supported as opposed to Android Wear which only works with Android 4.3 or higher devices and iOS which only works with Apple devices.
    • Though Microsoft’s hardware products have a spotty history, executives will be hoping a sensor-rich smartwatch can replicate the success of the company’s Xbox and Kinect divisions.
    • Optical engineers from Microsoft’s Kinect division, designers and data scientists have created a software platform to go with the smartwatch that will correlate data from the device’s sensors, according to sources, giving a more accurate read on heart rate and fitness.
    • It will also provide basic smartwatch functionality including notifications and date/time.

    Note that the Gearlive article is particularly juicy as it involves the author running into a tester in New York City who was testing out the watch.

    Now how does this relate to Xbox One Kinect gaming?

    Here's what Gearlive has found out after talking witih some testers of the watch:

    "We’ve also been told that the biometric sensors might be used in unique ways. We mentioned Xbox One up there. We were told to imagine a scenario where a game might get streaming sensor data from the watch, and could recognize when you were, say, turning an imaginary wheel with a driving game where the Surface watch data would be used in conjunction with Kinect for even more precise play. Even more interesting? How about a survival-horror title that changes based on your pulse and how much you are sweating? Xbox fans, keep an eye on this one."

    Remember all the sensors of the watch, including the heart rate monitor, accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS, and most interestingly, a galvanic skin response sensor all built-in. Now you can track the movement of the wrists without worrying about whether the Kinect is interpreting it correctly. How about when your heart rate goes up, your on-screen character gets tired? The possibilities sound amazing. Sounds like fun times ahead!

    I was planning on getting a FitBit device but this might be a much better solution for my exercising.


    Exclusive: A Microsoft Smartwatch Is Coming - Forbes

    Microsoft Smartband Coming in October with 11 Sensors, Open APIs, and Cross-platform Compatibility


    Exclusive: I used Microsoft's Surface watch | Gear Live
    07-09-2014 11:26 PM
  2. 12Danny123's Avatar
    Wow!. This baby is stuffed with sensors. I gotta say, this is probably one of the most innovative things that MS has done in years
    07-09-2014 11:47 PM
  3. Dark_Shroud's Avatar
    This will be an automatic buy for me. Fitbit at least has an app for WP8.1 but it has issues and the hardware doesn't do enough.

    Hopefully MS makes a slick looking smart watch. I want something I can wear to an office job.
    07-15-2014 07:28 AM
  4. fefris's Avatar
    Lets hope its not all vapourware. Smart watch that works with windows phone... count currently zero1
    07-22-2014 05:54 AM
  5. onlysublime's Avatar
    I was reading about the Moov fitness tracker. That has 3 sensors. But it can track many types of activity besides walking/jogging. Including swimming and boxing! An interesting tidbit is the Moov was made by some people who used to work at Microsoft Research. I'm hoping that the Microsoft watch will including swimming as well as I am an avid swimmer (I swim daily).
    08-17-2014 08:28 PM
  6. Rodrigo Pereira Teixeira's Avatar
    I'm dying to buy a smartwatch since march this year. Didn't do so because I'm deep into MSFT and I heard they were due to release one this year, so it made no sense whatsoever to buy a peeble or a similar one if I can get a native one.

    Any rumours on release date yet?
    08-18-2014 09:25 AM
  7. onlysublime's Avatar
    more information...

    According to Re/code’s Ina Fried, the Microsoft Band has a strong emphasis on fitness, and it’s designed to be worn by its user all day to track both sleeping and exercise patterns. The Band comes with built-in GPS and 10 sensors that can track things like heart rate, but it also has a unique UV sensor to measure sun exposure, and a “galvanic skin response measurement” to purportedly help identify stress.

    Microsoft hopes the features will grow over time. It’s working with a bunch of partners, including MapMyFitness, RunKeeper, Jawbone and Starbucks, with the latter allowing users to pay for their coffee with a gift card barcode on the watch. A broader software development kit is planned for January.

    Microsoft Takes Another Stab at Health Market with Cloud Service, $199 Fitness Band | Re/code

    Introducing Microsoft Band, The $199 Fitness Tracker That Also Works With iOS And Android - Business Insider
    10-30-2014 01:42 AM
  8. onlysublime's Avatar
    You can buy it now!!!

    Buy Microsoft Band - Microsoft Store

    Band size: width: 0.75", thickness: 0.34" (19mm x 8.7mm)
    Band materials: Thermal plastic elastomer
    Weight: 2.12 ounces (60 g)

    Display AA size: 0.43" x 1.30" (11mm x 33mm)
    Display type: Touch-enabled TFT full-color display

    64MB internal storage

    ARM Cortex M4 MCU

    Optical heart rate sensor
    3-axis accelerometer/gyro
    Ambient light sensor
    Skin temperature sensor
    UV sensor

    Additional technology:
    Haptic vibration motor

    Bluetooth 4.0 (Low Energy)

    2 physical buttons

    Windows Phone 8.1 update3 with Bluetooth
    iOS 7.1 and 8
    Android 4.3-4.4 devices with Bluetooth

    Battery: Type: 2 x 100mAh rechargeable Lithium ion
    Life: 48 hours of normal use (Functionality like GPS will impact battery performance)
    Average charge time: Full charge in less than 1.5 hours
    Connector: Magnetically coupled connector to USB

    Environmental Requirements:
    Water resistance: Sweat- and splash-resistant
    Operating temperature ranges: 14° to 104°F (-10° to 40°C)
    Non-operating temperature ranges: -40° to 140°F (-40° to 60°C)
    Maximum operating altitude: 7.45 miles (+12000 meters)

    What's in the box:
    Microsoft Band
    Microsoft Band USB Charging Cable
    Safety & warranty document
    Quick Start Guide

    Download the free Microsoft Health app from the Windows Store, Play Store, and App Store

    1-year limited warranty

    10-30-2014 02:11 AM

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