After Microsoft was previously reported to be preparing an announcement about a new wearable, a photo of the actual device leaked on the Mac App Store earlier today with the release of a Microsoft Band Sync application. According to details on the Mac App Store page, the Microsoft Band will transfer information and sync all data in cloud storage identical to how the band will interact with a compatible iOS, Android or Windows Phone smartphone. Compatible with Mac OS X 10 and above, Microsoft claims that the device will sync faster when charging over USB compared to wireless transfer with a smartphone.
Likely similar to Samsung’s Gear Fit or one of the new Fitbit wrist devices, the Microsoft Band will likely work in conjunction with the Microsoft Health mobile application published on the Google Play store earlier today (Windows Phone as well). That application allows a user to check how many steps were taken in a given day, total calories burnt as well as distance walked. The application also appears to track running data using GPS as well as sleep activity data to help a user create an environment for a more restful sleep. It’s possible the Microsoft Band will also include some form of heart rate monitor since the Health app tracks beats per minute in relation to total calories burnt.
Also similar to other wearables, the Microsoft Band links with your smartphone to provide a variety of notifications on the LED screen. These notifications include, but are not limited to, email previews, text messages, phone calls, calendar alerts, social media mentions and weather data.
Users will be able to change what type of notifications are sent to the device using the Microsoft Health app. According to Twitter users, it also appears as if the band could be linked to payment accounts such as Starbucks. In addition, there are over one hundred background customization options for changing the colors on the screen.
It’s highly likely that the device will be announced as early as tomorrow and available for sale at Microsoft Stores. According to a tweet published on the official Microsoft Store Twitter account, the retail chain is inviting customers to attend a “Get Fit Before the Holidays!” event happening tomorrow. According to details on the Facebook invite page, this will include “in-store fitness activities, giveaways, and raffles (with prizes!) kick off at 10am (local time)!”
No details on the cost of the Microsoft Band are available at this time. There are also no details related to any level of interaction on the Xbox One in the Xbox Fitness application. Of course, Microsoft will face sizable competition in the fitness band space. Fitbit recently announced three new fitness trackers ranging from $130 up to $250. Other popular fitness trackers include the Basis B1 Band, Jawbone Up and Samsung Gear Fit. Assuming the Microsoft Band is released in the coming days, Microsoft may run flash sales on the fitness band during November. Last year, Microsoft ran multiple flash sales on various first and third products leading up to the Black Friday shopping period.