Microsoft Band hackathon shows some fun and practical uses for the wearable

The Microsoft Band Preview SDK is now making the rounds for iOS, Android, Windows Phone. Microsoft is still getting feedback from developers on what they like – and don't like – about the SDK. One way they do that is through a hackathon, whereby teams of developers need to come up with an idea and make a workable app usually in 24-hours.

Microsoft recently held one of these Band hackathons and invited UI Centric to participate.

In the UI Centric video, you can see two app creations demoed. One uses the Band's temperature sensor to turn on a fan when a certain threshold was reached. The other is a virtual egg carrying race, whereby participants have to pretend they are taking an egg as they make laps to see who is the fastest. The gyroscopes provide data to ensure that the person's hand stays steady during the event. Otherwise the "egg" breaks.

Not all is perfect with the SDK Preview though. As noted in the blog post, there are some limitations for developers that hinder what they can do with the Band:

"Firstly it is impossible to have a two-way dialog with the band whereby the user can respond to a notification in some meaningful way. Also unavailable to developers is the ability to draw any kind of custom user interface on the band itself, or to access presses of the action button. Finally on the Windows Phone SDK specifically there are some issues with trying to use the SDK from a background task which severely limits the number of actually useful scenarios we can envisage."

Microsoft is aware of the limitations and hopefully when the final Band SDK arrives, it offers developers the tools they need to create new and useful products.

The idea of having the air conditioner turn on when your body temperature hits a particular threshold is an enticing bit of home automation we would like to see. Additionally, being able to link up multiple Bands to one app also opens up some unique possibilities.

Check out the video and let us know what you think. Oh, and if you recognize the chap in the video, that is our very own Jay Bennett, who makes the Windows Central Windows and Windows Phone apps. If you wonder what he has been up to (instead of updating the app, ahem) there you go!

Source: UI Centric; Thanks, Brian F., for the tip!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.