11-03-2014 09:14 PM
31 12
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  1. valadon's Avatar
    I jsut got back from the store with my Band, and have been wearing it about an hour so far. As others have said its a bit big but I am quickly getting used to it, and so far I am loving it.

    However, I can't get the heartrate monitor to work! It almost always says "Acquiring" and gives a very inaccurate reading. It will occasionally say locked, but still is very inaccurate (compared to a chest strap heart rate monitor that I am wearing to test it against.) I have tried it on both wrists and in both orientations, tight and loose. A few times I got it to lock up and then it was VERY accurate but then it will lose the lock and be useless again.

    Are you guys having problems with it?
    treetownal likes this.
    10-30-2014 04:11 PM
  2. ytrewq's Avatar
    Mine spends most of the time in "acquiring" mode, and occasionally locks on. With that said, it seems to show a pretty accurate heart rate, even when it is acquiring.
    10-30-2014 06:45 PM
  3. SteveVII's Avatar
    Same thing here. Picked mine up today. I really really like it, but the heart rate thing is driving me crazy. It only "locks in" the heart rate when i'm standing fairly still. As soon as I move around a bit (such as preparing lunch, walking around) it says it is acquiring. I tried doing jumping jacks and it didn't read my heart rate until I was finished with them (by that point my HR already dropped). I've been wondering if I am wearing incorrectly....too loose, too tight, too high, too low, etc. I'll be going for a run later today, so I'm praying it works well else I have to consider returning unfortunately.
    10-30-2014 06:49 PM
  4. ytrewq's Avatar
    One added thought: I get the impression it is reading your heart rate even when it isn't "locked." I notice that, sometimes when it says "acquiring," the heart rate changes. I suspect that it can be in acquiring mode even if it is picking up your heartbeat inconsistently, and that it shifts to "locked" when it has read some pre-determined number of heartbeats in a row at a consistent pace. I'm guessing at that though; otherwise, I can't explain why the number would change even though it's in "acquiring" mode.

    I did loosen the band enough at one point (it was still on, though) that it stopped showing any heartbeat at all and asked where I went, and don't I want to put the band back on to see what my heart rate is. I thought that was cute. But it does tell me that "acquiring" mode means something between, "I'm not reading you" and "I'm reading you loud, clear, and consistently." If that's the case, then "acquiring" mode may give a close-enough reading in many circumstances. I don't need to know what my heart rate is this second; I just need to know trends and averages.
    10-30-2014 07:03 PM
  5. crelim's Avatar
    One added thought: I get the impression it is reading your heart rate even when it isn't "locked." I notice that, sometimes when it says "acquiring," the heart rate changes. I suspect that it can be in acquiring mode even if it is picking up your heartbeat inconsistently, and that it shifts to "locked" when it has read some pre-determined number of heartbeats in a row at a consistent pace. I'm guessing at that though; otherwise, I can't explain why the number would change even though it's in "acquiring" mode.

    I did loosen the band enough at one point (it was still on, though) that it stopped showing any heartbeat at all and asked where I went, and don't I want to put the band back on to see what my heart rate is. I thought that was cute. But it does tell me that "acquiring" mode means something between, "I'm not reading you" and "I'm reading you loud, clear, and consistently." If that's the case, then "acquiring" mode may give a close-enough reading in many circumstances. I don't need to know what my heart rate is this second; I just need to know trends and averages.
    This is quite close to what its doing I suppose. In my view, it says LOCKED when it is refreshing the heart rate estimate in real-time. When it says "Acquiring" it still has a very good idea of your HR but not necessarily updating 10 times a second to show it on display. As a test, do some running/jumping jacks with the band fairly snug, go to the HR screen and you will notice that even the "Acquiring" estimate is much higher as it should be and then when it locks it will update more frequently. In summary, in the background I presume it "LOCKS" many times per hour and other times kinda glides in "Acquiring" mode unless it detects a change.

    Also it appears, it is quite smart about when to ramp up the update frequency. For example, when I am walking or doing any activity where my HR goes up, it becomes more sensitive and locks much more often than when I am sitting at my desk.
    10-30-2014 07:22 PM
  6. valadon's Avatar
    I spent an hour on the phone with Microsoft tech support but they were unable to make any progress on the heart rate issue. It still locks for a few seconds and the losses it. When it losses lock it appears to stay at the same heart rate it was at when it lost lock, I do not see the heart rate changing when it says acquiring like ytrewq mentioned. I tried a very quick run and it seemed to get a lock every 20-30 seconds or so and then would lose it.

    I have tried it on both wrists, loose and tight, doesn't seem to make a difference.

    I like everything else about the Band but the main reason I got it was because of the heart rate monitor and if it can't keep a lock then I will probably have to return it as well.
    10-30-2014 07:23 PM
  7. valadon's Avatar
    This is quite close to what its doing I suppose. In my view, it says LOCKED when it is refreshing the heart rate estimate in real-time. When it says "Acquiring" it still has a very good idea of your HR but not necessarily updating 10 times a second to show it on display. As a test, do some running/jumping jacks with the band fairly snug, go to the HR screen and you will notice that even the "Acquiring" estimate is much higher as it should be and then when it locks it will update more frequently. In summary, in the background I presume it "LOCKS" many times per hour and other times kinda glides in "Acquiring" mode unless it detects a change.

    Also it appears, it is quite smart about when to ramp up the update frequency. For example, when I am walking or doing any activity where my HR goes up, it becomes more sensitive and locks much more often than when I am sitting at my desk.
    That could be Crelim, I noticed when I was running it was getting (and losing) lock more frequently then when I am just staring at it sitting at a desk. So maybe it does update more often when you are working out.
    10-30-2014 07:26 PM
  8. surfacedude's Avatar
    I just got back with my band. Haven't even opened the box. I too bought this largely because of the heart rate monitor. If that doesn't work, then this is just a 200 dollar gimmick, imo. I'll definitely be returning if the monitor is unreliable. If it does work, however, ill be singing Microsofts praises!
    10-30-2014 07:30 PM
  9. SteveVII's Avatar
    I also called support and they had no clue what they were talking about. They at least gave me clarification that positioning on the wrist isn't extremely important and that the band will tell you if it isnt tight enough. I just played dumb, thanked them, and got off the phone :-). Really hoping this isn't a serious issue as I really want 24 hour tracking!
    10-30-2014 07:42 PM
  10. crelim's Avatar
    I spent an hour on the phone with Microsoft tech support but they were unable to make any progress on the heart rate issue. It still locks for a few seconds and the losses it. When it losses lock it appears to stay at the same heart rate it was at when it lost lock, I do not see the heart rate changing when it says acquiring like ytrewq mentioned. I tried a very quick run and it seemed to get a lock every 20-30 seconds or so and then would lose it.

    I have tried it on both wrists, loose and tight, doesn't seem to make a difference.

    I like everything else about the Band but the main reason I got it was because of the heart rate monitor and if it can't keep a lock then I will probably have to return it as well.
    After reading your message I just tried on my band and it locked in about ~15 seconds and stayed there for the 30 seconds that I looked at it. It could be a faulty unit.

    I have been wearing my band for months to my Crossfit class and I switched from the chest strap to this because the data was pretty much same (even during intense lifting exercises).

    Wear it with screen facing in, snug so the sensor part is flat with top of your wrist and then activate the Workout mode. You can double click the smaller button to switch displays in workout mode. My guess is that in workout mode the band goes into an aggressive HR mode and tracks much better.

    Edit: Should've mentioned that if in exercise mode also it doesn't seem to be updating as you bike and get your HR up, it may be broken :( A final test you could do (which I did to prove myself this works) is wear a chest strap + band and compare data for a workout.
    10-30-2014 07:46 PM
  11. crelim's Avatar
    I also called support and they had no clue what they were talking about. They at least gave me clarification that positioning on the wrist isn't extremely important and that the band will tell you if it isnt tight enough. I just played dumb, thanked them, and got off the phone :-). Really hoping this isn't a serious issue as I really want 24 hour tracking!
    It does track 24-hour quite well. Here is an example for a typical day for me.
    hr_tracking.jpg
    Last edited by crelim; 10-30-2014 at 08:20 PM.
    10-30-2014 07:57 PM
  12. SteveVII's Avatar
    Hey crelim. Thanks for posting but it is giving me an error. Have you had the band for some time? I assume you were a tester? I'm just concerned because it is showing my heart rate as aquiring instead of locked more often than not.
    10-30-2014 08:06 PM
  13. valadon's Avatar
    I also can not see the attachment you posted Crelim.

    I am a crossfitter (and a runner) and tracking my crossfit workouts was one of the reason I wanted to get the Band. I guess I will keep an eye on it and see how it handles a full day and a real workout.

    Thanks for the help Crelim!
    10-30-2014 08:09 PM
  14. crelim's Avatar
    Hey crelim. Thanks for posting but it is giving me an error. Have you had the band for some time? I assume you were a tester? I'm just concerned because it is showing my heart rate as aquiring instead of locked more often than not.
    Hi SteveVII,

    Correct, I had been beta testing it for a while and I can honestly tell you that this HR sensor has been tested in motion and conditions that make it absolutely best in class. Fundamentally, optical HR may never replace a chest strap sensor but this optical sensor is pretty darn close and has only dropped out of sync for me a few times during vigorous workouts.

    I have actually seldom bothered to go into the me tile and check HR, unless I am checking my pulse just because I felt like and then it would take 15-20 seconds to acquire a lock. However I can tell you from personal experience, that it will indeed collect HR behind the scenes and throughout the day with quite good accuracy.

    Did you get a chance to try out the workout mode and watch the heart rate?

    Also, wear it throughout your day and later at night see the HR graph. Since I like to believe numbers than words, I actually wore a WahooTICKR chest strap through out the day and plotted MSFT Band's HR with WahooTICKR and they matched closely. The band may drop out if there is too much hand/finger motion, but I would bet no optical HR sensor out there can get HR with constant finger and hand motion. Also, I wear it snug but not tight and it is working out quite pleasantly for me throughout the day, as well as in gym.
    10-30-2014 08:18 PM
  15. crelim's Avatar
    I also can not see the attachment you posted Crelim.

    I am a crossfitter (and a runner) and tracking my crossfit workouts was one of the reason I wanted to get the Band. I guess I will keep an eye on it and see how it handles a full day and a real workout.

    Thanks for the help Crelim!
    Re-uploaded the screenshot.

    High-five Xfitter! :-) I wear it to my Xfit class and when skipping class during travel, I just select a Tabata or something from the guided workouts and perform that in my hotel room. Use guided workout and I can guarantee you will be impressed! :) It tells you next set/exercise and also COUNTS THE REPS! holy moly!

    I took it out for a run last Sunday and much like Runkeeper, it collects a GPS trace and even colors the trace with info about HR/pace. You can then see HR in different zones.

    All in all, there are still sometimes I need to use a chest strap, but it has replaced 90% of times I did.
    10-30-2014 08:26 PM
  16. pj737's Avatar
    crelim, thanks for your input. When it monitors 24 hours a day how many data points does it use in the graph? According to your graph, it looks like the plotting points are once every hour... which is extremely useless especially if Microsoft claims 24-hour monitoring. If it truly is on 24-7, how often does it actually record the BPM data?
    10-30-2014 08:27 PM
  17. crelim's Avatar
    crelim, thanks for your input. When it monitors 24 hours a day how many data points does it use in the graph? According to your graph, it looks like the plotting points are once every hour... which is extremely useless especially if Microsoft claims 24-hour monitoring. If it truly is on 24-7, how often does it actually record the BPM data?
    pj737: This is the screenshot from the app's graph. I was not given access to the health platform that MSFT mentioned that does analytic in the cloud. Maybe they upload higher fidelity data for that.

    The debate of even one accurate HR reading per hour being "extremely useless" is settled in the medical and health community. It is actually very useful data (and sufficient) if you were to detect onset of cardiovascular diseases, detect silent heart attacks or any health anomaly. Scientific evidence aside, for me that graph is quite useful because it lets me see training effects the day after my workouts and how my diet impacts my average HR throughout the day. I can even see bumps when I know I engaged in something physical or mentally challenging.

    However, you raise an excellent point that 1 datapoint per hour may not be sufficient -- correct. In workouts it is not at all sufficient and useless. So when you activate workout mode, you actually get HR every second or so (I do not know the exact rate), but I am happily importing that to MyFitnessPal and can see how weightlifting and anaerobic workouts impact me and how I can perform better. When I am not working out, the band is collecting a lot of HR but most likely chooses to display it in a form that is easily digestible.

    I am quite sure that MSFT's band team is all ears and if you tell them you want to see (or even export) all HR data, they will listen.
    10-30-2014 08:39 PM
  18. pj737's Avatar
    pj737: This is the screenshot from the app's graph. I was not given access to the health platform that MSFT mentioned that does analytic in the cloud. Maybe they upload higher fidelity data for that.

    The debate of even one accurate HR reading per hour being "extremely useless" is settled in the medical and health community. It is actually very useful data (and sufficient) if you were to detect onset of cardiovascular diseases, detect silent heart attacks or any health anomaly. Scientific evidence aside, for me that graph is quite useful because it lets me see training effects the day after my workouts and how my diet impacts my average HR throughout the day. I can even see bumps when I know I engaged in something physical or mentally challenging.

    However, you raise an excellent point that 1 datapoint per hour may not be sufficient -- correct. In workouts it is not at all sufficient and useless. So when you activate workout mode, you actually get HR every second or so (I do not know the exact rate), but I am happily importing that to MyFitnessPal and can see how weightlifting and anaerobic workouts impact me and how I can perform better. When I am not working out, the band is collecting a lot of HR but most likely chooses to display it in a form that is easily digestible.

    I am quite sure that MSFT's band team is all ears and if you tell them you want to see (or even export) all HR data, they will listen.
    My issue is Microsoft is EXTREMELY misleading in their advertising stating that their Band does indeed perform CONTINUOUS monitoring of ones' heart rate. This is verbatim from their site:

    Optical heart rate monitor

    Your Microsoft Band continuously monitors and reports your current heart rate. Measurements of the fluctuations in your heart rate help add quality to your calories burned measurements and to performance stats that you get when you track runs, workouts, and sleep. See Track your heart rate for more info.


    24-hour heart rate tracking

    Monitor your heart rate 24 hours a day so you can perform at your best.




    A once-every-hour metric adds ZERO value to caloric burn and performance stats during a full day of activity. Any health professional will tell you a once-an-hour BPM report is more misleading than helpful. This heart rate monitor is virtually as useless as the one on my Samsung Gear 2. Every electronic activity device out there offers optical monitoring for exercise sessions only and NO other product claims to offer "continuous", "24-hour" heart rate monitoring because they don't... and the Band is no different. The fitness crowd is abuzz all over the net about this great feature many have been waiting for. Many people will buy the Band for its purported 24-hour heart rate monitoring and will be very disappointed to find out that this is completely untrue.
    Last edited by pj737; 10-30-2014 at 09:02 PM.
    10-30-2014 08:51 PM
  19. SteveVII's Avatar
    Just went on a run. It definitely picked up my heart rate better than it has all day (when not in exercise mode). I felt like the HR numbers were a bit high compared to my polar chest strap. I may have just been excited to give the band a true test drive and was pushing it :-). I'll have to take both along for the ride tomorrow to see if it is accurate.

    One odd thing... it took the band about 10 minutes to establish a GPS connection. I live by the ocean and the building are not very high or anything. That is a bit too long, yes? I love the view that shows you the route and speed!

    Where can I see a chart of heartrate throughout the day like you uploaded. Is there a place where I can view this data on my computer, or can I only see it on the app (in my case on iOS)?

    Going to give weight lifting a try shortly.
    10-30-2014 09:07 PM
  20. crelim's Avatar
    My issue is Microsoft is EXTREMELY misleading in their advertising stating that their Band does indeed perform CONTINUOUS monitoring of ones' heart rate. This is verbatim from their site:

    Optical heart rate monitor

    Your Microsoft Band continuously monitors and reports your current heart rate. Measurements of the fluctuations in your heart rate help add quality to your calories burned measurements and to performance stats that you get when you track runs, workouts, and sleep. See Track your heart rate for more info.


    24-hour heart rate tracking

    Monitor your heart rate 24 hours a day so you can perform at your best.


    A once-every-hour metric adds ZERO value to caloric burn and performance stats during a full day of activity. If anything, a once-an-hour report is more misleading than helpful. This heart rate monitor is virtually as useless as the one on my Samsung Gear 2. Many people will buy the Band for its purported 24-hour heart rate monitoring and will be very disappointed to find out that this is completely untrue.
    I see, you are absolutely right that using the word "continuously" is indeed very confusing. When I read that, I interpreted it as "continuously throughout a day with many times per minute", but I can see not everyone would understand that. For example, I will fail to explain to my mom that even a chest strap is NOT continuous but its only 2 times a second. I highly recommend you send feedback to MSFT and tell them your thoughts.

    One correction -- The data is DISPLAYED at 1-2 readings per hour (or howsoever that graph is displayed), but under the hood the caloric measurements and analytics are run on much higher rate HR which is many readings per hour. I do not know the numbers but I find my green LEDs on many times during my daily routine.
    valadon likes this.
    10-30-2014 09:08 PM
  21. Upstate Dunadan's Avatar
    I don't see anywhere where it says 24x7 in that statement, or more importantly any reference to how frequently it is measuring. Continuous can mean almost anything. It makes sense if you are not engaged in activity, it's not constantly reading your HR. If I'm sitting at a deal all day, why isn't once an hour enough? But if I'm at the gym, or doing some other type of workout, then I do want it to read more often. My Band is on order, so I don't have any experience with it.

    What I do wonder, is if I don't use a loaded workout, but one of my own (using GymAce on my Icon) can I still put it in workout mode so its reading more frequently? I hope so. I would not want to be forced to use their workouts, but definitely will give those a shot.
    10-30-2014 09:10 PM
  22. pj737's Avatar
    I see, you are absolutely right that using the word "continuously" is indeed very confusing. When I read that, I interpreted it as "continuously throughout a day with many times per minute", but I can see not everyone would understand that. For example, I will fail to explain to my mom that even a chest strap is NOT continuous but its only 2 times a second. I highly recommend you send feedback to MSFT and tell them your thoughts.

    One correction -- The data is DISPLAYED at 1-2 readings per hour (or howsoever that graph is displayed), but under the hood the caloric measurements and analytics are run on much higher rate HR which is many readings per hour. I do not know the numbers but I find my green LEDs on many times during my daily routine.
    I'm pretty sure most people would assume continuous would mean just that - continuous. Turning on for a second every hour is NOT continuous so in my opinion Microsoft is misleading customers with false advertising. My posts are already going to moderation so I'm sure they don't like what I'm saying here. Too bad because people need to know this; the continuous monitoring is a HUGE feature for fitness buffs. For the record, I've been wearing my device for several hours now and I have not seen the optical sensor turn on yet... but if it's just a few seconds every hour I may have missed it.
    10-30-2014 09:15 PM
  23. crelim's Avatar
    Just went on a run. It definitely picked up my heart rate better than it has all day (when not in exercise mode). I felt like the HR numbers were a bit high compared to my polar chest strap. I may have just been excited to give the band a true test drive and was pushing it :-). I'll have to take both along for the ride tomorrow to see if it is accurate.
    Glad it worked out. As you break into the band in a few days, it will fit better as well and become better at sensing, at least that was my experience.

    One odd thing... it took the band about 10 minutes to establish a GPS connection. I live by the ocean and the building are not very high or anything. That is a bit too long, yes? I love the view that shows you the route and speed!
    That is indeed odd. Last Sunday it locked in about a minute for me. It could just be that it needed to download the GPS almanac the first time? I am not sure. If it does this everytime, I would definitely get in touch with MSFT. Let me know and I can ask around.

    Where can I see a chart of heartrate throughout the day like you uploaded. Is there a place where I can view this data on my computer, or can I only see it on the app (in my case on iOS)?
    I just clicked the "Steps" in my app, and then it shows details by the hour and if you click the graph, it switched between different plots overlayed.
    10-30-2014 09:16 PM
  24. SteveVII's Avatar
    Here are my results compared to my chest monitor. Very rarely did the band "lock" during my workout. It almost seemed to lock only when I was actually doing the lifting, which was odd. As soon as a stopped lifting, it went to the hollow heart. I also found it odd that the heart rate went up after finishing my set :-). All in all, I guess the results are pretty close... although a 10 BPM difference in average can make a difference when seriously training. Im gong to give it some time, but am currently on the fence. My girlfriend has the Mio bluetooth strap and I always hated wearing it due to it's innacuracy. So far this seems on par with that, but I'm really hoping it surprises me over the course of the next week or so!

    Crelim- where do you wear the strap? Should I wear it back enough where I should be able to fully bend my wrist without feeling any type of constraint? I'm still having trouble deciding if I should wear it closer to my wrist (and a little looser, but still snug) or right behind my wrist bone "bump" and a little tighter. Interested to hear your thoughts. Thanks for the help!

    img_0394.jpg

    img_0395.jpg

    img_0393.jpg

    img_0392.jpg
    10-30-2014 10:01 PM
  25. astondg's Avatar
    A once-every-hour metric adds ZERO value to caloric burn and performance stats during a full day of activity.
    Caloric burn (and other things) can be measured very accurately with the galvanic skin response sensor, it's not restricted to needing a HR reading. I don't know how this Band works but it would be entirely possible that MS found they can get data that's just as accurate by using a combination of the sensors less frequently, or at different intervals, and at the same time save the battery life.

    I can understand if you have a requirement for 24/7 high resolution HR tracking, this device seems to fall short, but for the things that have been mentioned so far like caloric burn, accurate HR tracking during exercise, etc. they may not all need that level of HR tracking. There's other ways to achieve the same goal.
    10-30-2014 10:17 PM
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