Today, we’re excited to announce a new update for Microsoft Health and Microsoft Band, taking another important step forward in shaping our product and experiences, and regularly delivering service updates based on customer feedback.
In February, we uncovered and took action against three main themes found in the feedback we had received: Customers want broader integration, new insights and more features. We’ve been focused on building new experiences around each of these themes, and we are happy to share that this update truly delivers.
Customers want even more integration with additional third-party fitness partners. We know they have existing relationships with other apps, services and devices outside of Microsoft Health and Microsoft Band, and they’re looking for new ways to integrate their data, ensuring it will all live and work together in one single spot.
We’ve also learned that cycling has increasingly become an area of interest for the general population and something our customers are interested in tracking – and have already been enjoying as part of the functionality of the Microsoft Band. 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.
When it comes to Microsoft Health, we’ve been looking for ways to share additional insights through the Microsoft Health Web Dashboard – something we’ve consistently heard from customers. Starting as early as April 27, customers will be able to access the following new insights and observations in our expanding, full featured Web Dashboard.
- 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, we know some of our customers are interested in tracking their fitness activity through Microsoft Health as a first step in tracking their health data. Microsoft Health is an open platform, and it is designed to combine the data from devices with services already in use. We are excited to announce that in the coming weeks, customers can track daily steps and calorie burn inside of the Microsoft Health app using the sensors contained in many Android Phones, iPhones and Windows Phones.* Even without a fitness tracking wearable device, customers can just download the Microsoft Health application to their phone and get stepping!
As we said on day one of our announcement of Microsoft Health and Microsoft Band, we’re committed to building the device jointly with our customers and partners, continuously improving both the product and service based on their feedback and usage. I am excited, once again, to demonstrate our team’s commitment with another set of product and experience improvements. We encourage our customers to continue to provide feedback and responses to Microsoft Health and Microsoft Band and look forward to delivering even more to help our customers and partners live healthier and be more productive.
Stay tuned for more exciting updates in the months ahead!
General Manager of New Devices Marketing
*Step tracking capabilities are supported via apps on:
- iOS: iPhone 5s and later
- Android: Android 4.4+ with support for Step Counter API
- Windows Phone: Lumia devices with Sensor Core V1+ and Cyan FW