What is the Microsoft Band 2? - dummies

What is the Microsoft Band 2?

By Ashley Watters, Abshier House, Abshier House

The Microsoft Band 2 is the next step in the evolution of wearable fitness. Not limited to simply being a fitness-tracking wrist band, the Microsoft Band 2 is an integration of fitness tracker and Microsoft technology. You will have access to fitness statistics, as well as email, calendar, texts, music, social updates, and even Cortana. With the Microsoft Band, you can stay connected while monitoring your health goals.

You will be a truly urbane user with the integration of the Microsoft Band 2. [Credit: Image courte
Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft.com
You will be a truly urbane user with the integration of the Microsoft Band 2.

What do you get with your Microsoft Band 2?

The Microsoft Band 2 can be used with your Windows phone, iPhone or Android phone. With eleven sensors, your Band takes fitness monitoring to a whole new level. In order to take advantage of these great features, you will need a Windows Phone primed with the 8.1 update or higher, an iPhone 4S or newer, or an Android 4.3 or later. Here are the sensors included with your Microsoft Band 2:

  • GPS

  • Microphone

  • Barometer

  • Gyrometer

  • Heart rate sensor

  • 3-axis accelerometer

  • Ambient light sensor

  • Skin temperature sensor

  • UV sensor

  • Capactive sensor

  • Galvanic skin response

The input from these combined sensors provides your device with all of the information it needs to give you great fitness tracking abilities and trend analysis to improve your overall health in ways that have yet to be seen.

The Band itself is made of elastomer plastic and comes with a brilliant 320 x 128 pixel display. The hardware is comfortable and can be worn in a multitude of extreme conditions. Microsoft has engineered the Band 2 to be water-resistant and capable of functioning in temperatures between 14 degrees and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, the Band will function normally from altitudes of -300 meters to +4800 meters. It comes complete with a custom charge cable and will reach a full charge in less than an hour and a half. This charge is good for up to 48 hours of normal use.

Using additional features such as music or GPS could cause your Microsoft Band 2 to deplete its charge faster than usual. To maximize your charge, disable any unnecessary features.

What features are available with the Microsoft Band 2?

In order to take advantage of the health tracking capabilities that come with your new Microsoft Band 2, you will need the Microsoft Health app or access to the Microsoft Health web dashboard. The fun doesn’t stop there. Microsoft has decided to extend the functionality of the Band 2 beyond that of a normal health tracker. Your device includes the following features:

  • Health tracking: This feature assesses your level of sleep and makes suggestions for improving your sleep quality. In addition, you will have the expected fitness tracking abilities which includes a heart rate monitor, caloric burn, distance covered, and much more. You can access charts and summaries that provide insight into your progress.

  • Communication access: You need not sever yourself from your connections. Your Microsoft Band 2 allows you to access your mail, text, and calendar directly from your wrist.

  • Take advantage of social media and music: With the Microsoft Band 2, you won’t need a separate device to provide music for your workout. You can control the volume and song selection from your Band using the music apps on your phone. Also, with the Facebook or Twitter app downloaded to your phone, you can receive the latest notifications from your social media accounts.

  • Third-party app integration: Microsoft has partnered with a number of apps to give you the best integration possible. From outlining your route and tracking distance with MapMyRun to receiving specialized workouts from Gold’s Gym, your Band will give you so many options for staying connected and keeping fit. You can even use your Band to pay for your coffee with the Starbuck’s app. The possibilities are endless. Check here for a full list of supported apps for the Microsoft Band 2.

Interested in learning more? Check out the Microsoft Health blog for ways you can use your Microsoft Band it its full potential and be a better you.

If you enjoy playing golf, the Microsoft Band 2 may be particularly suited for you. In addition to the wealth of fitness feedback that you will already get, the Band allows you to use the TaylorMade app to track and analyze your unique golf stats.