There have been rumours about it for a while now, but yesterday Microsoft announced the Microsoft Band, a wearable device that both tracks your health and provides notifications of emails, appointments and social media activity.
The wristband records the number of steps the wearer takes, the intensity of sleep, exercise performance and calories burned. It also tracks heart rate, location via GPS, skin temperature, perspiration and UV exposure. All that data is passed into Microsoft Health, a cloud-based service that builds up a picture of your physical activity and health indicators.
It’s clearly aimed at people who do sports, but I wonder whether Microsoft might not widen the target group to add others in the future, such as the elderly. Being on the wrong side of 65 myself, I would definitely be interested in a device that can monitor my health, and alert me when trends look to be going pear-shaped. A panic button might be a useful addition as well. And think of the add-on accessories – a Bluetooth blood pressure monitor for example.
As usual for Microsoft, the Microsoft Band is only currently available in the US, with no word as to when it might be expected elsewhere. I’ll probably be dead before it is available here.