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  1. SteveVII's Avatar
    JoJoe...I definitely understand what you are saying. This band would be perfect for someone like my mom who has no clue what the hell is going on with her body. No awareness of her heart rate, steps, sleep, never responds to texts, etc. If that's how it was marketed, then I totally get its appeal.

    I feel that Microsoft has really advertised this as an all in one band using a new wave of advanced health technology. Did you read this page (http://news.microsoft.com/features/m...glance-away/)? They specifically call out how the other heart rate devices suck and theirs is much better due to extensive R +D. However, as many have tested, those other devices that "suck" have been more accurate than the band when exercising. As someone who was looking for this to be a health-first device, I may be better off with something else. I'm still going to give it a chance, but if the heart rate continues to be this far off, I just can't use it as a device for training, unfortunately.
    jojoe42 likes this.
    11-02-2014 12:00 AM
  2. BobLobIaw's Avatar
    I was hoping this was the thread where people post comparative data directly from their devices to determine accuracy. Greyskytheory did so in another thread (Ambit - Band) and it looks like there is a little bit here (Joe920). I'm trying to take OP seriously but with the absence of his actual graphs and the subterfuge from a predictable source I find this thread to be disappointing at best right now. Hopefully it will improve if the FUD stops.
    11-02-2014 12:41 AM
  3. BobLobIaw's Avatar
    Dude, I spent like 15 minutes piecing this together for the community, a bit more appreciation please! :)
    Yeah, there is a ton of appreciation from me. I just wish people other than you and Greyskytheory had submitted raw comparative data so that we can analyze the issue correctly instead of having to sift through a bunch of biased hyperbole. :D
    Joe920 and greyskytheory like this.
    11-02-2014 12:52 AM
  4. SteveVII's Avatar
    Here are my charts...apologies for not posting earlier.

    Weights
    img_0431.jpg
    img_0433.jpg

    Cardio
    img_0432.jpg
    img_0434.jpg
    BobLobIaw likes this.
    11-02-2014 12:58 AM
  5. debad's Avatar
    I have 42 minutes of tennis heart rate data vs. the Polar Loop.

    MS Band:
    144 ave
    168 high & 80 low

    Polar Loop (w/ chest strap):
    162 ave
    183 high & 131 low

    The Band stopped recording after 42 minutes (!) which I did not realize at the time. There may have been a notification interruption or 2. I wonder if that caused a pause.

    I used the Band's GPS and it said I covered 1.07 miles, which is cool to track for tennis, but I'm not sure it was on for the whole period. It let me start without GPS and then GPS kicked in at some point later. This was actually one of the notifications I remember, and it was like 20 minutes or something after I had started!

    The graphs actually look similar in shape when you compare the 42 min period,, but the MS graph is extremely smoothed out - rolling hills vs. the jagged peaks provided by Polar.

    Maybe the band works better for plain running, with less arm movements than tennis. That's what I was originally excited to use for - low HR training for running - but I feel like I can't trust it now. The active heart rate reading being intermittent is another strike against it for that use.

    It fit tight (with display on inside of wrist), so I don't think that was the problem. Other than the HR being totally inaccurate, the other con for me is the comfort. It just feels tight and kind of sweaty. I wouldn't want to wear it 24/7. I wear the Loop more loose and it hasn't been a problem, plus the Loop feels lightweight in comparison.

    I'm not really surprised about the HR. I asked 2 phone reps, a chat rep, and the retail store sales person if the HR was accurate and they all said yes, but I didn't trust them since there was no documentation anywhere. I agree with earlier comments that the documentation or even basic descriptions of what it's supposed to be able to do are completely lacking. I guess that adds to the discovery experience...I also agree that blog article was misleadingly optimistic about the HR technology. It did give me hope. Oh well. It's a cool device and I see the potential for all kinds of great features. This thread probably saved me a call to tech support. Sounds like that won't get anywhere.

    Note: the HR numbers above are for the same 42 min. period. I was able to get that on the Polar website. The screenshot below has a longer time period for the Loop, so the numbers won't match. Also, I wasn't able to get a screenshot of the Band Summary numbers. The Summary page had the GPS map but no other graphs. I had to go to the Splits to get the graphs.

    screenshot_2014-11-02-01-06-34.jpg
    screenshot_2014-11-02-01-01-17.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails screenshot_2014-11-02-01-00-24-1-.jpg  
    Alex Temple likes this.
    11-02-2014 03:01 AM
  6. Qtweeder's Avatar
    #heartrategate
    11-02-2014 05:30 AM
  7. UncleGrandpa's Avatar
    It will be interesting to see how many people drop dead while using this device.
    Alex Temple likes this.
    11-02-2014 06:12 AM
  8. luxnws's Avatar
    At $199, the Band is an entry level fitness band. It is in the same category as the Garmin Vivofit and the yet to be released Fitbit Surge. What is impressive about the MS Band is the features included in device and potentially the amount of data generated by all those sensors. It sets the bar high for fitness bands in the $150-250 price range. It might even give the Apple Watch Sport edition some serious competition.

    The Band isn't competing against high end performance devices like the Garmin Forerunner 620 which costs > $400. Even the Forerunner 301 which I bought nearly 10 years ago cost more than the Band and I'd be surprised if the Band matched it on hrm and gps performance. The 301 has a chest hrm so I think it is going to still be more accurate than the Band at least for the next few iterations.

    That said, this is MS's first release so there will be things to fix and improve. The real value in the Band will be in the software and data analysis. It has the potential to collect all sorts of data that my 301 doesn't generate. I'm eagerly anticipating when MS releases its second iteration (guessing early to mid 2015). I just hope it won't be priced a lot higher than the first gen Band!
    Last edited by luxnws; 11-02-2014 at 07:45 AM.
    11-02-2014 07:32 AM
  9. surfacedude's Avatar
    so here's my theory. as far as i know, there are only two ways to truly measure heart rate: actually taking a pulse or actually measuring/tracking the electrical activity of the heart (ekg, for example).

    as i understand it, the chest bands actually pickup on your heart's electrical activity so they tend to be accurate. that's also why you wear them over your heart. it sounds to me like these optical sensors don't actually measure your heart rate. it seems like they work by some kind of algorithm with data the sensor reads from how the light beam responds to your veins or capillaries. so it's not measuring electrical activity from the heart or counting your pulse.

    i have no idea how the algorithm and the light sensor interact, but this seems like it would clearly be a less reliable method than the medical standards. it seems like the light sensors work more like the calories burned estimators. you tell the device your height, weight, sometimes age, and sometimes real biofeedback (tell it you're working out at 20% of max for 20 minutes, for example) and it'll give you a calories burned estimate. the problem, however, is that we know you can't really verify how many calories you burn. you track that by completely different means--elevating your heart rate to a certain point and keeping it there, taking x number of steps, a hard weight training workout, et cetera, in combination with diet, monitoring what's going into your body. heart rate, on the other hand, can be easily verified and is an important metric. unlike calories burned estimates, inaccurate heart rate readings are worthless, particularly when we have a less convenient yet medically accepted means of measure it--simply taking your pulse. pretty all marketing that i've seen for any light sensor heart monitor don't say what's actually happening and over-promise wildly. maybe microsoft has made the same mistake.

    hopefully, however, the band can be made more accurate via software updates. one important thing to keep in mind, however, is that optical sensors are NOT measuring your heart's electrical activity so in that sense they never will be truly accurate. you can be in afibrillation and not even feel it even if you are taking your pulse, but an ekg will pick that up immediately. and these light sensors don't appear to actually count your heartbeats, either. so i think it's important to keep in mind that what we're truly getting here is more like a calculation than a reading.
    BobLobIaw and Alex Temple like this.
    11-02-2014 08:21 AM
  10. mhc48's Avatar
    I can't attest to the accuracy as to actual count, but having just come back from a combo walk and run to test my Band, I can say that the Band did not appear lose lock at any time and that the displayed heart rate both in real time and in the charts closely tracked the intensity of what I was doing, quickly matching whether I was walking or running, and the HR decreasing when I slowed down my running pace.

    I will say that at one point I thought I saw my displayed HR on the Band go about 4 or 5 beats higher than show up as the Max on the chart when I got home.
    11-02-2014 09:00 AM
  11. greyskytheory's Avatar
    I can't attest to the accuracy as to actual count, but having just come back from a combo walk and run to test my Band, I can say that the Band did not appear lose lock at any time and that the displayed heart rate both in real time and in the charts closely tracked the intensity of what I was doing, quickly matching whether I was walking or running, and the HR decreasing when I slowed down my running pace.

    I will say that at one point I thought I saw my displayed HR on the Band go about 4 or 5 beats higher than show up as the Max on the chart when I got home.

    Dis you try this while wearing another fitness tracker to compare the data between the two?
    11-02-2014 09:10 AM
  12. mhc48's Avatar
    Dis you try this while wearing another fitness tracker to compare the data between the two?
    No, that's why I said that I can't attest to the accuracy of the actual count; I had nothing to compare the numbers to. But I don't need another tracker to know when I'm walking vs. running or when I deliberately slow my pace. In those instances the Band quickly reacted to and displayed a change in my HR. I did this on a 2 mile straight, flat boardwalk, so that I wouldn't have to worry about traffic, variables or distractions while I checked the Band.
    11-02-2014 09:23 AM
  13. wuiyang's Avatar
    it is a very first developed device, dont except perfect thing at first time. Microsoft will change it after that, i think you are allowed to exchange for the new one
    11-02-2014 09:27 AM
  14. valadon's Avatar
    DC Rainmaker provides very in depth reviews of fitness products and one of the devices he has reviewed is the TomTom GPS watch with Optical HRM. It uses the same basic technology as the Band to measure heart rate, the green lights and optical sensors. He found the TomTom (optical) when compared to his Garmin (chest strap) was spot on, it even did better than the chest strap in some cases. He shows the graphs side by side, and they are almost identical. So that tells us that the optical HRM technology works, and it has the capability to be accurate at least for running.

    So the question is: Why does the Band seem to be struggling? Is it a cheaper HR sensor, is it getting light interference. (The TomTom "seals" to your wrist better to block the light from outside) Is it a software bug? Or is it accurate but just not displaying in as much detail as the other devices in the graph? Thoughts?

    Here is the article talking about the TomTom HRM TomTom Cardio Runner & Multisport with Optical Heart Rate In-Depth Review | DC Rainmaker
    Click on "Optical Heart Rate Sensor Accuracy" from the side bar to jump to the relevant section.
    mados123 likes this.
    11-02-2014 10:02 AM
  15. sanva's Avatar
    I think you need to change the title of your post to "for you its inaccurate". I just went for a run this morning with my motoactv watch/garmin chest strap hr monitor and the microsoft band.

    Overall they both matched up with min/max and average heart rate for the complete 40 minutes. I even waitied 10 minutes after the run for the cool down and they both were in sync.

    now when i was running were there times one read different than the other? Sure but ones on my wrist and ones on my heart within some time when i looked down they were in sync.

    I am very happy with the readout as I was eager to test after reading this post last night.

    If anything the GPS took a while to capture under some cloud cover that is my only gripe.

    Check it for yourself guys before believing someone trying to make a claim for all of us.
    11-02-2014 10:17 AM
  16. SteveVII's Avatar
    I think you need to change the title of your post to "for you its inaccurate". I just went for a run this morning with my motoactv watch/garmin chest strap hr monitor and the microsoft band.

    Overall they both matched up with min/max and average heart rate for the complete 40 minutes. I even waitied 10 minutes after the run for the cool down and they both were in sync.

    now when i was running were there times one read different than the other? Sure but ones on my wrist and ones on my heart within some time when i looked down they were in sync.

    I am very happy with the readout as I was eager to test after reading this post last night.

    If anything the GPS took a while to capture under some cloud cover that is my only gripe.

    Check it for yourself guys before believing someone trying to make a claim for all of us.
    Sanva, if you read my posts, I specifically asked about everyone else's results to determine if it is normal or not. I shared my experience, and asked others to chime in to help determine whether my results were normal or not. Unfortunately, the title only allows for so many characters.

    I'm happy to hear that it was accurate for you. I experienced similar results initially. I started noticed the discrepancies when doing non repetitive motions (weight training) and going on the elliptical for cardio (maybe the bouncing was screwing it up). If you use it primarily for running and it works great, I'm happy for you. As for me, and others who were looking for this to be a fitness-first device for various activities, it is failing to deliver so far. I take my workouts very seriously, and when it comes to cardio, a difference of 10 BPMs makes all the difference regarding which "zone" I need to be in.

    As I mentioned, I want to like this... I was at the Microsoft store 45 minutes early to make sure I got one. Unfortunately, many of the key advantages that seemed promising in my opinion (24 hour continuous heart rate monitoring where it is actually 24 hour heart rate sampling, accurate heart rate during non-repetitive motions) don't seem to be built into the device. That being said, I again see the value in what Microsoft released, however, the press release/marketing was definitely misleading.

    Also guys, any idea if the other sensors (skin temperature, Capacitive sensor, Galvanic skin response, etc.) are being used yet? I haven't found any indication that this is being tracked or used as calorie burn seems to be entirely based on steps and heart rate. This is something that may make me want to keep this as an "all day fitness tracker", but so far the metrics are nowhere to be seen. Also, sleep tracking seems to spit out a lot more data points for heart rate throughout the night vs. viewing all day. I wonder if the band is tracking this and the Microsoft Health app is only programmed to show hourly averages?
    Alex Temple likes this.
    11-02-2014 11:15 AM
  17. SteveVII's Avatar
    If you guys allow me to summarize my tl;dr post, I think the HR measuring alogithm of the band is set to ignore rapid HR changes, and it appears to have been set too aggressively. That means if your real heartrate drops rapidly, the band will show 'out of sync' and hold the last high value. See the graph below especially near the end, band in purple, garmin FR305 in red. If this is the entire problem, it seems fixable.

    If this theory is true, then people doing exercise with constant effort will report good results and rarely lose sync, and people doing interval training etc will report bad results.
    http://forums.windowscentral.com/att...52-hrmtest.jpg


    Tip for the MS coders: if the motion data suddenly calms down AND the heart rate suddenly drops: believe it. If the motion stays the same, but the heart rate changes a lot: ignore it. Not fully fool-proof, but it might help.
    Joe, which mode was your band on with these results? I wonder if training mode tries to look for these intervals, whereas running mode assumes it will be more constant. I agree with your analysis here. During my weight training sessions, my heart rate never dropped below 100 during resting. It was like the band was assuming that I should be over 100 rather than taking my actual HR.
    11-02-2014 11:20 AM
  18. debad's Avatar
    I did test it for myself and it was way off, for tennis at least. Before I give up on it, I'll try a plain run to see if I get good results like you did.

    During your run, was the HR locked with the solid heart the whole time? Which side of wrist did you wear the display?

    The TomTom in the review seemed super accurate. I think the optical sensor can work, but my Band is touchy and the sampling rate for readings is too low. Before I even took it outside, waving my arm around caused the solid heart to change to the outline evrytime. The fact that the hr number changes even when it's the outline heart makes me think it is relying on a projection much of the time as opposed to real time readings. Moment to moment, mine jumps around a lot, frustratingly so.Probably it does best with a more constant heart rate pattern, like a nice steady run. Again, the sensor is pretty tight on top of wrist (display inside of wrist), not a lot of hair. Doesnt seem like light's getting in, but could be.
    11-02-2014 11:27 AM
  19. mhc48's Avatar
    If you guys allow me to summarize my tl;dr post, I think the HR measuring alogithm of the band is set to ignore rapid HR changes, and it appears to have been set too aggressively. That means if your real heartrate drops rapidly, the band will show 'out of sync' and hold the last high value. See the graph below especially near the end, band in purple, garmin FR305 in red. If this is the entire problem, it seems fixable.

    If this theory is true, then people doing exercise with constant effort will report good results and rarely lose sync, and people doing interval training etc will report bad results.
    http://forums.windowscentral.com/att...52-hrmtest.jpg

    Tip for the MS coders: if the motion data suddenly calms down AND the heart rate suddenly drops: believe it. If the motion stays the same, but the heart rate changes a lot: ignore it. Not fully fool-proof, but it might help.
    That's specifically what I was trying to test this morning and I didn't find it to be so. Granted I cannot compare what I saw to another device's readings, but as said before, I can certainly correlate what I saw and later read on the chart to my own actions.

    BTW, I'm not trying to dispute or knock your findings or theory, just to add to the available data.
    11-02-2014 11:29 AM
  20. Joe920's Avatar
    BTW, I'm not trying to dispute or knock your findings or theory, just to add to the available data.
    No problem, I am just happy that I found a theory that matches my data and that explains why adjusting the strap doesn't do anything. I'm hoping we'll see more overlaid curves so we can see if anything like that is going on.
    11-02-2014 11:35 AM
  21. Daniel Rubino's Avatar
    i have no idea how the algorithm and the light sensor interact, but this seems like it would clearly be a less reliable method than the medical standards.
    Long story short: optical is less accurate than electrical but more practical for everyday use.

    Pulse oximeters used to determine blood oxygen levels also use light and a photodetector. The tech can also pick up pulse rate. Having said that, in a medical situation, we always used ECGs for patients due to their accuracy, but even then, they are highly dependent on placement and body fat composition.

    The fact is, even chest straps are going to be less accurate than a full 12-lead ECG. Often enough, you need at least 2 contact points for a semi-accurate ECG in a hospital, but 12-lead ECGs are still the best. The same is true with EEGs for neuro-- there are different channel setups, all with increasing levels of accuracy. In fact, software often infers proper source localization of EEGs signals these days instead of raw meaurements.

    The takeaway: even chest strap HR monitors are only so good, but there is a very good reason why they are not used in hospitals either ;)

    The technology we have in the Band should be considered semi-accurate, but not enough for a full medical diagnosis. This is all trickle-down medical technology, it's getting better, but not nearly as good as the 'pro' stuff. It's no different than how crappy cell phones were in the 90's compared to landlines.

    I have two different chest straps (Runtastic, Adidas) that I'll be comparing to the Band later on, though I would be shocked if the Band was more accurate.

    It's trade-offs. The Band brings this tech down to an affordable consumer level, and it is more convenient than a chest strap (which can be a PITA to use). But even the coveted chest straps are not nearly as good as medical-grade ECG setups, let's not kid ourselves.
    11-02-2014 11:35 AM
  22. Joe920's Avatar
    Joe, which mode was your band on with these results? I wonder if training mode tries to look for these intervals, whereas running mode assumes it will be more constant. I agree with your analysis here. During my weight training sessions, my heart rate never dropped below 100 during resting. It was like the band was assuming that I should be over 100 rather than taking my actual HR.
    I had it on exercise mode, not running mode. Beginners mistake.. :) For biking I should have used 'run' mode and activated GPS manually.
    11-02-2014 11:38 AM
  23. SteveVII's Avatar
    Thanks, Daniel. Interested to hear your results. I think it's pretty clear that wrist HR monitors are not especially accurate. However, based on Microsoft's press, it seemed like this should have been a step in the right direction. Instead, it doesn't seem like the optical sensor has as good of accuracy as many older devices. Let us know what you find.
    11-02-2014 11:40 AM
  24. Joe920's Avatar
    I have two different chest straps (Runtastic, Adidas) that I'll be comparing to the Band later on, though I would be shocked if the Band were more accuarate.
    Cool! First thing: in the article please push Runtastic.com to integrate with MS health data, because as of now it doesn't. And second, I hope you'll be able to overlay the HR curves, that makes for a much easier comparison of accuracy. Looking forward to the review!
    11-02-2014 11:42 AM
  25. surfacedude's Avatar
    . But even the coveted chest straps are not nearly as good as medical-grade ECG setups, let's not kid ourselves.
    i agree and think this is an important. and just to be clear, i didn't say chest straps were as accurate ekgs. i said that as far as i know, they tend to be more accurate than (consumer grade) light sensors.

    i think these these consumer health devices should not be confused for medical devices. the same goes for home blood pressure monitors. they may help you keep track of blood pressure, but no doc will make a diagnosis with one.

    we have to have realistic expectations, that's my point, but my earlier post may not have clearly conveyed that.
    11-02-2014 11:57 AM
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