Microsoft has announced plans to add more tracking features on the Microsoft Band wearable fitness device, starting with an update on Thursday, April 23. The company also announced new updates for the Microsoft Health website that will go live on April 27.
In February, Microsoft added a Bike Tile to the Microsoft Band to track cycling movements. Today, the company announced more partnerships surrounding this feature:
"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. Building upon our Bike Tile introduction in February, we are thrilled to expand cycling functionality through partnerships with popular Bike apps, MapMyRide and Strava. Starting on April 23, Microsoft Band customers will be able to wear their device during rides and compare performance or share routes with other riders using these apps."
Microsoft Health users will also be able to track more categories of fitness data starting next week. Here's what will be added:
- "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."
Finally, Microsoft stated that Microsoft Health users will be able to track track daily steps and calorie burn data with information provided via the company's iOS, Android and Windows Phone apps "in the coming weeks"