Google isn’t the only company that’s pushing out a smart wearable update, as Microsoft today announced some new goodies for the Microsoft Band.
Following on the cycling integration that the Microsoft Band gained in February, a new update will expand the fitness trackers cycling functionality. Starting on April 23, the Microsoft Band will gain cycling integration with the MapMyRide and Strava apps, allowing Band wearers to share their performance and routes with other users of those apps.
Also announced today are new features for the Microsoft Health Web Dashboard and apps. First up, the Web Dashboard will gain new insights and observations as soon as April 27:
- Comparative Insights: Measures data such as daily steps, sleep, workout frequency and calorie burn and compares it to similar Microsoft Health customers based on body type (height and weight). Customers looking for motivation can use comparative insights as a benchmark to understand their health relative to similar people.
- Sleep Recovery: Good sleep is the foundation of health, and something everybody does and needs. Microsoft Band tracks the length and quality of sleep. Use the Microsoft Health web dashboard to analyze sleep restoration, sleep efficiency, and wake-ups, to find out how well the body restores its resources during sleep.
- Fitness Benefit: Track fitness progress using historical data to measure improvement over time.
- VO2 Max: VO2 max refers to the maximum volume of oxygen used during exercise, and is the primary indicator of cardiovascular fitness. Traditionally, measuring VO2 Max is cumbersome. Not anymore. Microsoft Band estimates VO2 max based on heart rate information. Now customers can track how their VO2 max increases as they improve fitness level and achieve their wellness goals, simply.
- Run/Exercise Observations: Get more out of run and workout data with in-depth observations and insights. With a week of data, customers can determine which day of the week and at what time of day they perform best. Using historical data from as far back as five weeks, customers can track whether they’re maintaining, progressing, or need to re-dedicate themselves. Analyze detailed stats to find specific aspects of runs and workouts that can be improved.
Additionally, the Microsoft Health app for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone is going to gain support for tracking steps and calorie burn using sensors built into the phones themselves. This means that users will be able to use Microsoft Health to track steps and calorie burn even if they don’t have a wearable dedicated to measuring those things. The step tracking feature is compatible with the iPhone 5s and later, Android 4.4 and higher, and Windows Phone devices with Sensor Core V1+ and Lumia Cyan firmware. These new features will roll out “in the coming weeks.”
There are lots of goodies coming for both Microsoft Band wearers and folks that use the Microsoft Health apps to track their fitness. And Microsoft says that there’s even more goodness to come, teasing that we should “stay tuned for more exciting updates in the months ahead.”