Microsoft has unveiled a new, $249 Microsoft Band, a big update to last year’s fitness tracker smart bracelet.
It’s available for preorder today.
The new Microsoft Band has been redesigned, such that the screen actually wraps around the wrist, making it more comfortable. It’s also more responsive to touch, Microsoft promises.
In addition to the normal calorie-tracking and activity-tracking features, the new Microsoft Band also brings in some new, smart features that make it a little bit more like a smartwatch.
For instance, you can see e-mails, and you’ll be able to talk to the Cortana digital assistant to get more information about your workout. It even has Uber and Facebook apps, to hail rides or share updates on the go.
And it uses a lot of Microsoft’s number-crunching know-how to provide smart insights on your workouts and your training progress, based on the data you gather with the Microsoft Band. It also has a barometer, so it can even track elevation changes.
And since it works on iOS, Android, and Windows 10, Microsoft says you’ll have access to your Microsoft Band information everywhere. It also integrates with third-party apps like Lose It, in a partnership announced today.
The original Microsoft Band got some bad press for being inaccurate and clunky, but Microsoft promises that they’ve been listening to customer feedback.