Microsoft is planning to launch its own wearable fitness band in the coming weeks. Forbes reports that the announcement is due "within the next few weeks," and The Verge can confirm this is accurate. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that the launch of Microsoft’s wearable fitness band is imminent, and the device will be stocked at retailers in time for the holiday season. Microsoft’s wearable launch will mark 10 years since the company announced its SPOT smartwatch in 2004 that used FM radio signals to send instant messages from Windows Messenger, news headlines, stock information, and weather forecasts to your wrist.
Smartwatch features, but primarily focused on fitness
Although Microsoft’s fitness band will have some smartwatch features, it will be primarily focused on fitness activities. We’re told the fitness band will track steps, heart rate, calories burned, and other key health attributes thanks to a number of sensors embedded in the device. Microsoft has also been testing the ability to monitor heart rate through the day and night, and is expected to ship a final device that has around two days of battery life.
The key part of Microsoft’s fitness band will be its support for Windows Phone, iOS, and Android. Microsoft is developing separate apps for each mobile operating system to help support the features of its fitness band sensors, and smartphone notifications to the band will also be supported. It's unlikely that Microsoft will brand its fitness band under the Lumia or Surface monikers, mainly because the device will work across all three mobile operating systems. Images surfaced earlier this year of a fitness band in Microsoft patent filings, and previous rumors suggested the company was working on a 1.5-inch display with removable wrist bands. With Microsoft on the verge of announcing its fitness band, we’ll find out exactly what the company has to offer in the wearables space very soon.