Microsoft has joined the fitness wearables market with the Microsoft Band and a personal health and fitness cloud service platform called Microsoft Health.
The band has 10 sensors that monitor everything from heart rate to UV light. It also offers guided workouts curated by organizations including Gold’s Gym and Shape. It also displays notifications about incoming calls, emails, texts and social updates, and, offers access to the Cortana voice assistant for Windows Phone users.
It is available now, for $199, in limited quantities in the U.S. at the Microsoft store online or the brick-and-mortar Microsoft Stores.
The band works with the Microsoft Health app, which also launched Wednesday on Android, iOS and Windows Phone.
The Microsoft Health app is a consumer and industry cloud service designed to bring together data from different health and fitness devices, and generate actionable insights such as recommended recovery time based on the intensity of a workout or which exercises burned the most calories during a workout, according to Microsoft.
If users want to also combine their calendar, email and other information into Microsoft Health, the app can, over time, provide insight such as fitness performance relative to work schedule or if the number of meetings during the day impacts sleep quality, according to a Microsoft blog post.
Microsoft Health’s first announced partners are UP by Jawbone, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper. Microsoft also said that it will soon allow users to connect their Microsoft Health data to HealthVault, in order for users who choose to do so to be able to share their health and fitness information with their doctors.
HealthVault, which Microsoft launched in 2007, is a platform that allows people to compile personal health data and share it with doctors.
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