Microsoft Band, the first wearable powered by Microsoft Health, keeps fitness and productivity insights a glance away

Did you ever hear the one about the five Microsoft engineers and the writer who walked into a Gold’s Gym?

No? Well, that’s probably because the results were nowhere near as funny as you or I might have hoped. The engineers crushed all of the burpees, bear crawls and box jumps doled out by a top Gold’s trainer. And we need not discuss how the writer performed or how sore he is while typing this story.

All five engineers and I wore the new Microsoft Band as we worked our way through the group circuit training. We compared heart rates and calorie burn after each round of team sit-ups and mountain climbers, adapting the reps to maintain our optimal heart rates. A few of the engineers discreetly glanced at emails and texts on their bands between sets.

For this team that created the device, the workout stood atop years of research, testing, iterating and inventing a whole new product category at Microsoft. In turn, the device and Microsoft Health, the new security-enhanced cloud platform that stores and analyzes all of this data, have transformed the engineers’ personal health and fitness.

Microsoft Band’s cutting-edge continuous heart rate monitoring provides a detailed calorie count and sleep quality measurements. With the inclusion of intelligent personal assistant Cortana on Windows Phone 8.1, the band also offers hands-free access to the web and your most important correspondence whether you’re at the office or at the gym.

Available on Windows Phone, iOS and Android, Microsoft Health’s open cloud platform stores, organizes and learns from your fitness information in order to give specific prompts to improve your fitness.

As Zulfi Alam, GM of Personal Devices, noted at the beginning of our workout, “Imagine you’ve set the goal that you want to get fit and lose weight as part of your exercise routine. Based on your burn rate and exercise over one week, we will soon be able to auto-suggest a customized workout plan for you. As you follow that plan – or if you don’t follow the plan – our technology will continue to adjust to give you the best outward-looking plan, like a real coach would do.”

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