Microsoft isn’t saying how many of its Band fitness trackers have been sold, but it’s talking a lot about improvements it’s making to the product and the accompanying Health app.
Microsoft general manager of new devices Matt Barlow told VentureBeat that no physical redesign of the Band is in the works, but that his company will continue making the existing Band do more tricks.
Three of those new tricks were announced today, and will become available to Band users soon.
Starting on April 23, the Microsoft Health app will be able to share cycling data collected by the Band with MapMyRide and Strava.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported the number of people who commute to work by bicycle has increased about 60 percent over the past decade, Microsoft pointed out.
Microsoft has been trying to improve the way it displays Band data to users. Starting “as early as April 27th,” users will be able to see a variety of “health insights” — clever combinations of Band-collected data that teach the user something about his or her health.
Here’s how Microsoft describes the new insights users will be able to see on a personalized Web Dashboard:
- Comparative Insights: Measures data like daily steps, sleep, workout frequency, and calorie burn, and compares the data to similar Microsoft Health customers based on body type (height and weight).
- Sleep Recovery: Uses the Microsoft Health web dashboard to analyze sleep metrics, to find out how well the body restores its resources during sleep.
- Fitness Benefit: Tracks 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.
- Run/Exercise Observations: With a week of data, for example, users 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, users can track whether they’re maintaining their progress.
Integration with phones
So far the Band has been the one wearable device that could collect and upload biometrics data to the Microsoft Health app. Now Microsoft is allowing smartphones to do the data collecting and report the stuff into the Health app.
Users can track daily steps and calorie burn inside of the Microsoft Health app using the sensors contained in selected Android and Windows phones, and recent iPhones.
The Band is Microsoft’s first wearable; it launched last October.